Lots of shots, not enough goals as Ice Demons drop first Western division final game

Allan Hewitson
The Kitimat Ice Demons controlled 90 per cent of Saturday's opening game of the best of three CIHL West Division final against Prince Rupert – but failed to capitalize on a barrage of shots and lost 3-2 to the division-winning Prince Rupert Rampage.

Allan Hewitson

The Kitimat Ice Demons controlled 90 per cent of Saturday’s opening game of the best of three CIHL West Division final against Prince Rupert – but failed to capitalize on a barrage of shots and lost 3-2 to the division-winning Prince Rupert Rampage.

It was an uncharacteristic game. The Demons found the puck bouncing and rolling and could not set up their usual precise controlled-passing game. The Prince Rupert defense and Keith Movald in goal played a valiant game – but the difference was in opportunism as the Rampage seized on the few opportunities presented to put the puck in the net.

A largely cleanly-played gave with a total of five minor penalties to the Rampage and four to the Ice Demons, it was a game of huge frustration for the home team who had a huge third period after dropping behind 3-1 in the second period – but they could only claw one back in the 19 shot period.

At the other end, the credit went to Movald and the Rampage defense which probably blocked another doze ore more shots – but defended the goal as furiously as the Ice Demons were attacking it.

Ice Demons had a slow start to the game, but were much more offensive than the Rampage, and were unlucky to fall behind 1-0 on a nicely scored goal by Chris Woodrow, who went in one on on, got around Jeff Mildenberger on defense and lofted a shot over Jamie Moran in the Kitimat net.

Early in the second period, Terry Whelan (Wade Masch) was in a position to slap a hard shot at the crush in front of Movald and got it through on a deflection to tie the game.

Greg Sheppard objected to Ian Coleman spraying snow on a hard stop in front of Movald and took the ice Demons player hard into the corner after the whistle, resulting in a double roughing and unsportsmanlike penalty for Sheppard and a roughing for Coleman.

Demons pressed hard but did not capitalize on the power play but shortly after that was over Movald went down awkwardly on a save and to compound matters, Blaine Markwart was assessed a two minute boarding penalty and Chris Woodrow fought for a puck in the Demons’ corner and got a pass across to Brett Stava who tipped it past Moran, to make it 2-1 on the power play.

Shortly after that, with the Demons pressing hard for the equalizer, Keith Movald dropped awkwardly to cover up a puck in his crease. Sheppard with a vicious cross-check to Craig Hewitson sent the forward tumbling on top of Movald into the net. Movald took a long time to get up and with Kitimat again pressing its power play hard, the defence was caught pinching and Rupert got a good block that sent Kendall Stace-Smith and Johnnie hunt in on a shorthanded two-on-one. Moran stopped the initial shot from Stace-Smith but Hunt was right there to lift the rebound into the net.

This stunning turn of events sent the temperature up on the Ice Demons’ bench going into the third period and the pummelled the Rupert net. But Movald held firm and the tiring defense blocked away numerous shots. Rupert did not get a shot in the period until the 12 minute mark when Colt Stava made Moran make a glove save on a shot from centre ice.

The pressure finally paid off for the Ice Demons, when Wade Masch, converted to centre, pushed a Derek Wakita rebound over the line to get the Demons within one with 6.06 remaining in the period. Ben Rego also earned an assist.

As the play wore down and the clock became the enemy, the Ice Demons eventually pulled goaltender Moran and went with six attackers…but the defense held out, even getting five cracks at the empty net, three stopped by defenders and two missing for icing.

It was a much frustrated Kitimat team and a jubilant Rampage team that shook hands, each looking forward, for different reasons to game two in the Jim Ciccione rink in Rupert, at 8 p.m. on Saturday.

The Demons were just glad there are one or two more games in the final series and the Rampage will be looking forward to noisy support from the home crowd.

Kitimat fans planning to travel are warned to try to book rooms early as the All Native Basketball Tournament will be in Rupert as well next week.

Just Posted

Northwest mobile unit to help those at heart of mental health, addiction crisis

Province, Northern Health unveils new unit in Terrace to bridge gaps in services

Aussies buy majority stake in Red Chris mine

Company looks forward to relationship with Tahltan Nation

B.C. First Nations’ intake of essential nutrients to drop by 31 per cent: study

Professors project the nutrient decrease by 2050 if climate change mitigation continues as is

B.C. minister says rural internet is ‘railroad of the 21st century’

Jinny Sims talks details about the $50-million provincial and possible $750-million federal funds

CityWest to reopen its Kitimat office

The company anticipates growth in demand for services with LNG Canada’s project

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Care providers call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of her office

Sulphur dioxide level peaks in Kitimat

Levels rise to over 60 parts per billion

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Nowhere to grieve: How homeless people deal with loss during the opioid crisis

Abbotsford homeless advocate says grief has distinct challenges for those living on the streets

ICBC shifts to Alberta model, with higher rates, private insurers say

B.C. public insurance includes funding enforcement, driver licensing

Most Read