The Kitimat Ice Demons picked up four points on the road this past weekend, with a roughhouse win, 10-4 Saturday over the rambunctious Omineca Ice and a competent 4-3 win Sunday afternoon against the Houston Luckies
On Saturday night, the Omineca Ice fell behind 1-0 early in the first, when Jeremy Brady scored the first of a hat-trick 2.59 into the game, assisted by Terry Whelan and Josh Slanina. The assist was the first of a six point night for Whelan, three goals and three assists, as he finally got the scoring monkey off his back. Omineca tied the game 1-1, just five minutes later on a goal by Braden Babcock,(Tyrone Turgeon, David Guden) also on a power play with Jeff Mildenberger off for hooking.
But that was the last bright spot of the night for the Ice as the rough play escalated and the Demons went on to score four more times in the first to take a 5-1 lead to the intermission.
David Guden took a two minute slashing penalty a minute later and Jeff Baker (David Venman, Ian Coleman) made Omineca pay. Jeremy Brady (Jeff Mildenberger, Terry Whelan) made it 3-1 about four minutes later, followed by Terry Whelan’s first of three at 17.11, unassisted.
With 35 seconds left in the period, Whelan got his second (Dave Venman, Jon Aiken) again on the power play, with Tyler Turgeon off for a trip. The Ice were unable to connect on two late power plays in the first as Josh March took two for a high stick and David Venman sat for roughing.
The Ice Demons picked up the pace with another five straight goals in the second period, with Derek DeLisser (Steve Venman, Josh Slanina) starting the parade at 5.39, another power-play goal with Nathan Silver-Vickers in the box for slashing. Terry Whelan added a power-play goal at 9.47 (Jon Aiken, Dave Venman) with Montana Turgeon penalized for slashing and two minutes later Josh Slanina (Brandon Wakita, Jeff Mildenberger) made it 9-1 with Ice captain, Phil Simoes, in the box for tripping.
Jeremy Brady scored his third at 15.36 (Derek Wakita, Brandon Bye) and Jeff Mildenberger finished the five-goal run with 1.37 left, with Simoes serving a two minute penalty for goaltender Nathan Vandelaar for delay of the game. Assists on the Mildenberger goal went to Jon Aiken and David Venman.
Travis Champion and William DeJong had engaged in a roughhouse with 3.53 remaining and both got two for roughing and 10 minute misconducts as the rough stuff just kept going.
With the 10-1 lead, the Ice Demons did not score again in the game, but clearly decided enough was enough – although the rough play was going both ways. Four minutes into the third Jordan Goncalves earned a roughing penalty, which led to a power play goal at 4.19 by Matthew Stang (Braden Babcock, Dustin Erickson). John Allessandrini got the score to 10-3 and with 3.31 remaining and Jordan Goncalves serving two for roughing. With about eight minutes left Jon Aiken and Michael Simoes roughed it up for 2 and a 10 minute misconduct each. In all Ice took 70 minutes in penalties, and Kalen Bird was tossed for fighting after being hooked by Derek Wakita who didn’t drop his gloves but got a seat for two minutes at the 6.41 mark of the period.
That was the last of the scoring but the whacking and slashing continued with Steve Venman getting two for a slash and Jordan Goncalves two more for interference.
On Sunday the Ice Demons found the Houston Luckies more prepared to play hockey than Omenica and, with Tommy Mildenberger in net, took a tied game 1-1 into the first intermission with goals for Houston by
Jaden Janzen, who put the Luckies in the lead at the 13.15 mark of the period, assisted by Alonzo Slaney and Curtis Hendrickson. But the Demons answered that goal with one of their own at 18.50 when the Demons penalty killers had a short-handed goal by Jeff Mildenberger, (Terry Whelan) with Jordan Goncalves in the box for hooking.
Although shots in the period were 12-12, Demons were shorthanded twice in the first period, and then took the next three penalties in the second period. The penalties included two and a game for Kyle Boudreault for a hit from behind just three minutes in. That penalty however came just 90 seconds after Josh Slanina had given the Ice Demons a 2-1 lead inside two minutes, scoring on goaltender Brock Henricksen. At 1.20 on a passing play that saw assists go to both Venman brothers, David and Steven.
Ian Coleman made it 3-1 at 13.18 of the second period, from Brandon Wakita and Jeff Mildenberger, again short-handed, but, with just four seconds left in the period, Alonzo Slaney got one back (unassisted) to make the score 3-2 at the second intermission.
Shots in the period were again very close, with Demons out-shooting the Luckies 12-10 and the teams taking taking two minors each.
The third period was more of the same with the teams exchanging goals with Slanina scoring for the visitors in the second minute, assisted by Derek DeLisser and William DeJong, while Blair Dinelle (Jaden Janzen) kept the Luckies close, with a goal at 8.19.Each team killed off two minors and the shot count favored the Luckies 12-11, but Tommy Mildenberger remained stingy. Luckies pulled Henricksen in the final minute but could not beat Mildenberger.
The two wins gave the Ice Demons an 11 point lead in the Western Division as the Terrace River Kings couldn’t get the job done in Smithers against the Steelheads as they lost 7-2 Saturday and the Prince Rupert Rampage, were unable to take any points out of two games on the road, losing 4-3 Saturday night to Houston and then falling behind 5-0 to finally lose 6-1 to the Steelheads in Smithers on Sunday.
Steelheads remained four points ahead of the Ice Demons in first pl;ace in the Central Division and the League with 20 points.
In other Saturday games Quesnel Kangaroos put themselves in a hole in Lac La Hache but had a strong third period, scoring six times in a row to edge the Tomahawks 9-8. Tomahawks’ final goal was scored with a second remaining in the game as they trailed going into the final minute 9-7.
This coming weekend will be a big one for the Ice Demons in settling where they will finish overall this season. On Saturday, they will face the up-and-down Quesnel Kangaroos, the only team to beat the Demons this season, when they won in a third period comeback, 4-2, early in October.
Sunday brings the surprising Lac La Hache Tomahawks into Tamitik Arena for their first ever visit in their second season in the league.