A crisp, new offense and cohesive play have propelled the Prince Rupert Rampage to one of their best starts in years.
The Rampage beat the Kitimat Ice Demons 11-3 in the team’s home opener. It was a comprehensive, wire-to-wire victory that saw the Rampage build an early advantage and maintain a high level of play throughout the game to beat the Ice Demons for the second time in two weeks.
“It went well, we executed everything we’d been practising,” said team captain Jared Meers, who tallied three goals to go along with two assists in the victory. “Our transition from defense to the offense tonight was exactly why the score was as high as it was.”
Last year, the Rampage utilized defense, effort and grit to win games. So far this year, more creativity in transition, precise finishing around the net has given the team a potent scoring punch to go along with its toughness on defense.
The team’s ability to score was on display early in the first period, where the Rampage jumped out to an early 3-0 lead behind goals from Jared Carter, Cody Hodges and Meers. Kitimat responded after Dane Schrier scored off of a rebound in front of the Rampage goal.
Prince Rupert quickly responded, however, scoring two more goals (Carter and Hayden Long) in the period to take a 5-1 lead into the second.
The second period got off to a choppy start with both teams racking up a combined 42 minutes in penalties. Despite the uneven play, the Rampage extended the lead in the period t0 7-2 thanks to two goals from Meers. Zack Carrita score for the Ice Demons in the period.
Four more goals in the third period Cody Cringan, Trent Davis (2) and Cole Atchison helped extend the Rampage advantage and finish with the final 11-3 score after conceding another goal from Kitimat’s Ryan Green.
Meers attributed the team’s early season success to adding more talent to a core group of players who have grown comfortable playing with each other.
“I’d say we’ve been together long enough now, and I feel like we’re the veteran team this year and we’re going to be the team that everyone wants to beat,” said Meers. “We’re going in with that mentality every game and it’s been working.”
The Rampage now hold a 3-0 record, good for first in the CIHL. Their next game is on Oct. 20 against the Quesnel Kangaroos in Prince Rupert. When asked what the team will focus on for that game, Meers said they just want to keep playing hard and the wins will come.
“Just the same thing,” he said. “Stick to the plan, stick to our systems and we should have the same results.”