There was no first shot scoring in the Kitimat Ice Demons 3-1 win over the Prince Rupert Rampage in Prince Rupert on Saturday. But a first period goal at 5:16 by Derrick DeLisser, set up by Josh Slanina, showed the pair are still potent together and gave the Ice Demons a first period lead that was never surrendered.
The Ice Demons won their third game in a row, in what turned out to be a low-scoring game with plenty of excitement, a ton of penalties – 94 minutes in all – and an empty net goal by Josh Slanina that sent Kitimat home satisfied.
The two west coast rivals have been building some dislike for one another for the past couple of seasons and this one showed it, with 520 fans in attendance on a Thanksgiving weekend.
In between the face-off and the final whistle there was a hard hitting, furious game that may set the tone for the rest of the season, where Kitimat has four more games with the Rampage.
There were four 10-minute misconducts in the game, but Kory Movold, with his second misconduct, got ejected from the game in an ongoing feud with Derrick DeLisser.
Other misconduct penalties went to DeLisser in the second period and to Rupert’s Jared Davis and Greg Sheppard in a protracted brou-ha-ha at the 6.28 mark of the third period, as Rampage tried to get even in the game.
The big mix-up also saw Sheppard called for boarding and Davis called for high sticking, while Kitimat’s Johnny Aiken got two for hooking, while Kitimat’s youngster, Michael Bell got two for roughing and defenseman Jordan Goncalves got four minutes for roughing plus a 10 minute misconduct.
For Rupert, the critical play that cost them the game was a combination goal, scored by Derek Wakita from Scotty McGregor and Kyle Boudreault, just over three minutes into the second period, to give Kitimat a 2-0 lead, that held up through a dour 31 minutes of play until an opportunistic short-handed unassisted goal by assistant captain, Justin Fontaine, with four and a half minutes left in the third period.
The Rampage tried to launch an offensive, but with Craig Munro, still in the box for another 50 seconds the Ice Demons stayed cool and played “Kitty, bar the door” until goaltender Keano Wilson left the goal for a sixth attacker and Josh Slanina made no mistake on the empty net to complete the Kitimat win at 3-1.
Bet your boots the Rampage didn’t like the final result and will be all fired up when the teams next meet in Prince Rupert, November 2. For the Ice Demons it will be two in a row since they face Terrace River Kings on the road in Terrace on Nov. 1.
Overall the weekend results left the Ice Demons in the lead in the league, with six points, followed by Stampeders and Smithers with four each.
It was quite a weekend in the Central Interior league, starting Friday night in Houston, where the Luckies played hard, but wound up on the wrong end of a 5-0 beating by the current CIHL champions, the Smithers Steelheads, without ex-NHLer Mike Wall in net – showing the Steelheads, with their prominent offence will continue to be a force in the league, no matter who is between the pipes.
On Saturday, the Terrace River Kings got good goal tending from Garrett Muir who stopped 30 Williams Lake Stampeders shots, for a shut-out. On Sunday, the Stampeders came back hard to split the weekend with a hard-fought 7-5 win to take two points back to the Cariboo.
Patrick Leal, in the Terrace net, saw his team take a one-goal lead into the intermission, getting an assist on the goal by Chris Brown. Terrace made it 2-0, before Williams Lake caught fire with three in a row in the second period to take the lead, on goals by Taylor Stuart, Walter Schmidt and Stu Sasges.d
Terrace got one back to tie the game at 3-3 by Derek Jurista, but with just two second left in the period, David Gore put the Stamps one ahead again.
Greg Nickel put the Stamps two ahead midway in the third and again the Stamps get their lead extended within a minute when Curtis Legros showed the Kings were not going away. But an exchange of goals by Chris Brown, who got Terrace back within one, was nullified by Taylor Stuart’s empty netter with Leal on the bench for an extra attacker, gave Stamps the 7-5 come from behind victory.
This coming Friday night the smarting Quesnel Kangaroos will be in Williams Lake in Friday. On Saturday the Kangaroos and Williams Lake Stampeders will go at it again, while the Kitimat Ice Demons will put their undefeated record on the line in Houston, where the Luckies will be looking for a win, big time. In the other two games, Saturday the Prince Rupert Rampage, will battle the Terrace River Kings in Terrace while the Lac La Hache Tomahawks will be back on the ice in the unfriendly confines of Smithers, against the Steelheads.
To keep the excitement going, the Ice Demons move into Smithers for the first bout between the two for this season and the Tomahawks will take on the Houston Luckies in Houston.