Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Rough road trip for the Rampage

A weekend trip to Houston may have offered the Prince Rupert Rampage some colourful fall scenery, but when it came to points in the CIHL Standings, the home town Luckies claimed all that were up for grabs.

The Rampage, playing with a short bench owing to injuries and penalties could not overcome an impressive offensive output from the Luckies, dropping both games of their weekend double header to Houston.

Saturday, the Rampage were on the wrong end of a 6-4 score, an entertaining and hard hitting match up viewed by 543, that saw three Rampage scorers make their mark in the losing effort.

Rampage goal scorers on Saturday night were Justin Fotnaine with a first period marker assisted by Jeff Stromdahl and Brad Deshane.

Jared Meers picked up a goal in the second with helping hand from Craig Munro.

While Munro tallied two goals for himself in the third, the first came from assists from Jared Meers and Marcus Atchison, while the second one was a penalty shot marker,  rounding out the Rampage offence on the night.

Keano Wilson faced 31 shots on the night making, 26 saves in the Rampage nets. Prince Rupert directed 40 shots in the direction of the Luckies David Little, who made 36 saves over the sixty minutes.

The second period proved to be a fairly wild affair with two of the Rampage receiving Game Misconducts. The first, at the five minute mark when Jared Davis and the Luckies Brandon West were involved in an altercation, resulting in Game Misconducts. Then at the twenty minute mark, Jared Andresson was assessed a Game Misconduct, for a fight with Houston's Blair Dinelle.

The Rampage bench would get a little shorter in the third when Brad Deshane was assessed a Game Misconduct on a Head Contact call.

Even with the misconducts however, the Rampage spent less time in the penalty box than the Luckies.

By the games end, Houston had been assessed 42 minutes of penalties on 20 infractions, compared to the 13 infractions given to the Rampage for a total of 26 minutes.

With a 1 PM puck drop the next day rest and recuperation time would be short for the Rampage, providing for a short turn around heading into the final game of their October road schedule.

Sunday, the Rampage  got a quick jump on the Luckies with Justin Fontaine scoring the opening goal on a set up from Jordan Weir at the 7 minute mark of the first.

That goal held the lead for Prince Rupert into the first minute of the second period when the Luckies tied the game up. The tie however would be a short lived thing, as the Rampage with the man advantage, grabbed the lead back two minutes later on a goal from Kendal Stace-Smith, with Justin Fontaine and Marcus Atchison gaining assists on the power play marker.

The second period however was not to be for the Rampage, as Houston scored four quick goals in a seven minute span to take a 5-2 lead towards the end of the period.

Prince Rupert shaved one goal off that late in period, with a goal from Brad Deshane, his marker coming with an assist going to Kendal Stace-Smith.

The Rampage came out of the dressing room in the third looking to launch a third period comeback,  and got a little bit closer to the Luckies at the 3 minute mark with another power play goal, this one from Brock Ward with a helper from Marcus Atchison.

With a bit of momentum on their side and down just one goal, the Rampage pushed hard, but the Luckies would surrender no more ice and no more goals.

Adding two more of their own on the night, the final one an empty netter to claim the 7-4 victory and the final two points of the four available from the weekend.

Colby Hagman  was in the nets for the Rampage in the afternoon game, the Prince Rupert goaltender making 36 saves on 43 shots, while the Luckies Colton Wardrop turned aside 43 of the 47 Rampage shots that came his way.

The Sunday match didn't get particularly physical until the third period when the Luckies turned up a bit of the nasty,  overall Houston picked up 41 minutes in penalties on 12 infractions, while the Rampage spent less time in the penalty box on Sunday, receiving 15 minutes of penalties on 7 infractions.

Sunday's game attracted a significantly smaller crowd, with only 183 in attendance to bid farewell to the Rampage in the back end of the double header.

The Summary for the Saturday game can be found here, while Sunday's official review can be found here.

With the loss, the Rampage record now sits at 1 and 4, leaving them tied with Terrace for last place in the West division and making for a bit of a gap to close between the Rampage and the upper reaches of the CIHL west.

The Rampage will attempt to get back on the winning side of the ledger with a Saturday night matchup with Kitimat. Puck drop at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre is at 8 PM.

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