Ice Demons split two at Tamitik

The Kitimat Ice Demons have run into another early-season spate of injuries ....

The Kitimat Ice Demons have run into another early-season spate of injuries and split their home ice Hallowe’en weekend games, narrowly losing 3-2 to the undefeated Smithers Steelheads on Saturday night, but recovering for a 6-3 win, outlasting the tiring and short-benched Houston Luckies by a score of 6-3 on Sunday.

The two games showed the Ice Demons still have some punch, but are hurting on defense without regulars Chris Vilness, Robb Lafferty and David Venman, with players like Jeremy Brady, Kory Finn,  and Daniel Mayer not available Saturday and Craig Hewitson added to the list of the missing on Sunday after a low hit early in the game against the Steelheads.

So the narrow one-goal loss Saturday night and the steadier game Sunday left the Ice Demons still leading their division – but with two losses in six games and some line-up challenges for upcoming games against the River Kings and undefeated newcomers, the Quesnel Kangaroos.

On Saturday, with both teams minus important players, Kitimat (short the three regulars on defense) and Smithers (missing offensive stars  Rob Millar and Ian Smith) dragged out a hard-hitting affair for a long time before Smithers came from behind to tie – and ultimately take advantage of a slow change by the Ice Demons to break in for the winner in the third period, scored by Randall Groot (Stu Barnes and Adam DeVries).

It was a taciturn game, with plenty of banging and with both teams guilty of too many turn-overs.

There were few penalties – for the Demons only four minors, and the Steelheads six. But it was an aggressive game with a fair bit of hitting, interference and pushing and shoving in the goalmouth areas and referee Chris Daniels seemed inclined to let the players play.

This game certainly didn’t point to West division superiority as both Mike Wall and Brandon Highton for Kitimat were both very stingy in net, putting on good displays of goal tending.

It was that kind of game – no score after the first, while opportunities abounded at both ends.

Smithers took a lead on a nice up-the middle-move by Mitch Pederson from Matt and Mark Arnold with just five minutes gone in the second.

The Ice Demons came right back, just 75 seconds later, with a nice solo rush goal by William DeJong, in his first CIHL game, who went five-hole on Wall. Assists were given to Blaine Markwart and Terry Whelan.

Demons went ahead on a power play with Markwart bulging the net (Ian Coleman, Wade Nicholson) just 39 seconds later.

But with less than eight minutes left in the period Smithers engineered a nice move, again up the middle, after Kitimat turned over the puck on a great scoring opportunity of their own.

Darryl Young finished off a fast passing play with a hard low shot that Highton could not get to. Cody Cringan earned a valuable assist.

The teams went to the second intermission tied at two.

Smithers seemed to have a bit of extra jump in the third, when referee Daniels decided to call a couple of penalties as the teams scrummed a couple of times in front of both goals.

With 6.57 remaining the Steelheads caught the Demons on a bad change and Groot was the recipient of a nice up-ice pass from Stu Barnes that sent him in alone on Highton, who got some of the shot but saw it hit the net behind him.

Wall and Highton made a lot of stops as neither team seemed able to get the upper hand as the clock wound down.

Shots in the game, Smithers 37, Kitimat 36 – but you can’t say enough about shot blocking by both defenses.

On Sunday, the Houston Luckies had only 13 players on the road and that wasn’t enough to handle the Ice Demons who went to their reserves, plus former veteran Demons defenseman Doug Wilson, to fill holes on the defense.

And, as the Luckies tired, in the third, the Ice Demons stepped up the pace enough to win.

However, leading 4-2 and still on the power play going into the third, Kitimat seemed to tire a bit themselves, but were still able to add two more goals in the third for the 6-3 win after Houston came back with a Dinelle hat-trick goal on a power play less than five minutes into the period.


Already hurting on defense, things got worse for Demons when rookie Jordan Goncalves was ejected for a hit from behind in a situation in the second period that seemed to see Goncalves and Skylar Hassell duel

ling for a loose puck when Hassell went down.

Goncalves got a two, a 10 and a game for the hit after opening the scoring for the Ice Demons at the 5.18 mark of the first, with his first CIHL goal.

Demons got out of the first leading 2-1 on a goal added by Ian Coleman two minutes later (Derek Wakita, Blaine Markwart) but with 13 minutes gone, Derek Dinelle got one for the Luckies when Brett Vilness bobbled a puck and his defense was unable to clear. Brandon Ophus assisted.

Derek Dinelle got his second of his three in the game on the power play early in the second, with Jon Aiken serving a tripping penalty, but with just a second left in that penalty and with just 36 seconds gone in the period. Alonzo Slaney and Derek Jelett had assists.

Nick Markowsky then put the Demons back into the lead within two minutes, (Terry Whelan, Jeff Baker) and the home team extended its lead to 4-2 at 11.18, shorthanded, when rookie centre Jacob Pereira made a nice defensive play in the Houston zone, intercepting a clearance and putting the puck right on the stick of Josh Slanina who beat Colton Wardrop in goal for the Luckies.

But again Derek Dinelle showed Houston wanted to stick around getting his third goal to bring his team Luckies back to within a goal.

That was wiped out on a Demons power play by Derek Wakita, unassisted, who popped one past Wardrop to make the score 5-3.

And with just three minutes left and the Luckies visibly tiring, Blaine Markwart carried the puck all the way up ice, round the net and backhanded the sixth goal, with assists to Ian Coleman and Doug Wilson,  who played an excellent game when pressed back into service with the Demons reduced availability on defense.

Shots in the game were Kitimat 39, Houston 27 in what was a fairly mild affair physically with Demons taking eight minors, as well as Goncalves’ game penalty in the second, while the Luckies served five minors, with Alonzo Slaney earning a 10 minute misconduct penalty for bugging the referee in the first.



Just Posted

Hirsch Creek Golf Course Volunteer, Augie Penner, talking about how he continues the tradition, set by Joe Atamchuck, to catch and release fry that keep spawning at the course. (Jacob Lubberts photo)
VIDEO: Kitimat golf course volunteers making moves for the fishlings

During the highwater season, salmon are known to lay their eggs in the ponds at the golf course

Ocean Wise’s cetacean photogrammetry research program uses aerial images collected by boat-launched drones to measure the body condition of whales. (Ocean Wise Marine Mammal License MML-18 photo)
LNG Canada commits $750K to whale research, conservation initiative

Ocean Wise education team will work alongside educational and Indigenous leaders in the area

The Sam Lindsay Aquatic Centre will be closed from June 28 until September 13 for annual facility maintenance as well as teach pool and decking repairs. (Black Press photo)
Sam Lindsay Aquatic Centre closed: June 28 – September 13

The aquatic centre will be closed for annual facility maintenance

Shoes are being left at the viewpoint on Haisla Blvd in response to the 215 bodies discovered at the Kamloops Residential School. (Jacob Lubberts photo)
Haisla Nation responds to 215 Indigenous children found buried at the site of Kamloops Indian Residential School

“Many Haisla children were sent far away, to places such as Port Alberni, and to Coqualeetza”

Susan Jay hosted a plant and garage sale on May 25 and donated all of her proceeds to the Kitimat General Hospital Foundation to help with the purchase of a new bus for residents at Mountain View Lodge, Delta King and the new Kitimat Valley Housing Society dementia home. (Barbara Campbell photo)
KGHF thanks Susan Jay for her help to purchase a new bus for seniors in multi-level care

Susan donated all proceeds to KGHF, her efforts netted the hospital foundation a total of $1,760

Hirsch Creek Golf Course Volunteer, Augie Penner, talking about how he continues the tradition, set by Joe Atamchuck, to catch and release fry that keep spawning at the course. (Jacob Lubberts photo)
VIDEO: Kitimat golf course volunteers making moves for the fishlings

During the highwater season, salmon are known to lay their eggs in the ponds at the golf course

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Most Read