The Kitimat Ice Demons exacted a measure of revenge over their defeat on Prince Rupert ice two weeks ago, be overwhelming the young Rampage with a 56–17 shot performance and a 4-2 win at Tamitik Arena Friday night, Dec 14. Only the acrobatics of Keano Wilson in the Rampage net kept the score from matching the dominance of the Demons team on this night.
Veteran Kitimat Ice Demons goaltender Brett Vilness returned to the net for the first time this season and after a somewhat nervous start settled down solidly and made some important saves in the early part of the third period when the Rampage started with a strong effort to get back into the game. Vilness made several key saves before a scuffle in front of the net sent the Demons’ Kyle Boudreault and the Rampage’s Jean Luc Fournier to the box for roughing after a great glove save by Vilness.
From then the Demons again began to take charge and the Rampage’s opportunity fizzled.
Demons took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission, after a sloppily-played period where lots of turnover and loose pucks were bountiful. But Derek Wakita got the Demons ahead at 7:09 of the first after Terry Whelan deftly recovered a puck in front of the Rampage crease, passed to Wakita who beat Wilson cleanly. Jordan Goncalves also had an assist on the play.
The Demons seemed to get their act together better after the goal and two minutes later Ian Coleman put home a clean shot as Wade Masch redirected a hard point shot by Adam Buick to his stick.
The Demons had the puck in the net moments later, but the referee on the far side of the ice lost sight of the still-loose puck.
An errant up ice pass, with Demons on the power play sent speedy Devon Palmer in alone on Vilness and a slick deke gave the ‘keeper’ little chance. It was one of 10 shots at Vilness in a period that did not see many chances for Rupert, while Demons directed 18 shots at Wilson.
The Demons kept up the onslaught in the second period registering 21 more shots to eight for the Rampage, who took five minor penalties in the period, against three for the Demons. Kitimat added goals by Derek DeLisser, on the power play, as he got behind Wilson to redirect a pass from Dan Jerrett at 7:31 and the same two players combined with Jon Aiken to see Jerrett score five minutes later (Aiken, Delis).
The third period was more of the same, with Demons having 17 shots to Rampage’s eight. The Demons were kept at bay by a desperate defense and some outstanding saves by Wilson and when Rupert did break though they found Vilness getting more comfortable with his game after so long on the sidelines.
Rupert still managed its second unassisted goal on the game, the only goal of the third period, when Tyler Ostrom won a battle in the corner for a puck and directed it at goal. Vilness was screened and the puck found its way to the far corner topside.
There were few more dramatics in the game which wound down with the Demons storming the Rampage net.
The next game for the Ice Demons is expected to be much more of a challenge than the last three weeks. The Ice Demons will travel to Smithers to face the undefeated Smithers Steelheads which remain in the lead in the Central Division.
The Coy Cup winners last season and the winners of their first CIHL playoff championships lost last to the Williams Lake Stampeders in a one goal game to launch the CIHL playoffs final last February.
The Ice Demons are promoting a fan bus to Smithers for the Dec. 29 game.
In CIHL standings, the Ice Demons lead the West Division with 22 points, ahead of second place River Kings with 13.
In the Central Division, the Steelheads lead with most overall points in the league with 26.
The Williams Lake Stampeders top the East division with 19 points.