Monday, January 13, 2014

Rampage end regular season on winning note, prepare for playoff showdown with Terrace

The Prince Rupert Rampage put the wrap on the regular season on Sunday afternoon with a 5-4 Overtime victory over the Smithers Steelheads, sending them off into the CIHL playoffs on a winning note and with a large task ahead.

Sunday's game was a measure of revenge for the Rampage who had dropped Saturday night's matchup with the Steelheads by a score of 2-1, that was a game which featured a rather physical second and third periods, which seemed to set the stage for Sunday's season ender.

Saturday night in front of a large crowd of 725 at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre, the Rampage held the Steelheads close in the first period, before they surrendered  two goals in the second lifting Smithers to a 2-0 lead through two periods of play.

The Rampage finally found some scoring after forty minutes as Craig Munro picked up the only goal of the night for Prince Rupert, a third period marker midway through the final period, assisted by Kory Movald and Jared Meers.

That goal set the stage for some furious hockey in the final stages of the third as the Rampage battled to try and gain the equalizer, however Smithers held their end of the ice well and staved off the Rampage attack to secure the win.

Prince Rupert fired 29 shots at Smithers goaltender Tyler Perreault, while Warren Hansen faced 28 shots on the night, with only the two of the second getting behind him.

While the score was low, the penalty totals were climbing on Saturday, with Smithers assessed 22 minutes of penalty time on 11 infractions, compared to the 12 minutes assessed to the Rampage on 6 penalty calls.

The Boxscore from Saturday night's game can be found here.

That nastiness of Saturday would carry over into the Sunday afternoon affair, which provided for some 70 minutes of penalty time through the afternoon, 30 minutes for Smithers on 12 infractions and 40 minutes for the Rampage on a total of 13 infractions.

In between the parades to the penalty boxes, the action was pretty furious again, as both teams turned up the offence and took advantage of power play situations to find their range on net.

Prince Rupert opened the scoring with goals from Jared Davis and Jeff Coolin in the first period, Jared Meers and Devin Gerrits assisted on the Davis goal just 44 seconds into the game, while Armand Powell provided the helper for Coolin at 8:29, that 2-0 lead held through the first twenty minutes of play.

The Steelheads battled back through period number two, picking up three goals  through the middle frame, the Rampage countered with a Kendal Stace-Smith marker, with assists going to John Hunt and Marcus Atchison, the fourth Rampage goal of the day came at 14:06 of the second, when Ryan Fuzi found his mark, assisted by Josh Kierce and Kendal Stace-Smith.

Smithers tied the game up in the third sending the final game of the regular season into overtime, where Kendal Stace-Smith picking up his third point of the night, wrapped the regular schedule up with a win scoring at  2:28 of the extra frame assisted by Jared Meers and goaltender Devin Gerrits.

When he wasn't adding on to his offensive totals, Gerrits was keeping goals out facing down 37 Smithers shooters on the day, allowing only four goals on the afternoon. Steve Andrade was assigned the loss for the Steelheads, surrendering five goals on 28 shots, recording 23 saves for the day.

The Boxscore for Sunday's game can be found here.

525 fans took in the Sunday afternoon match, with the win the Rampage finished in fourth place in the CIHL West a placement that now sends them off to a Best of Three playoff showdown with the Terrace River Kings.

The first game of that series takes place on January 25th in Prince Rupert, the remaining games of the first round semi-final will be held in Terrace.

Smithers will take on the Kitimat Ice Demons in the other CIHL West Division semi-final.

A full review of scores from the 2013-14 regular season can be found from our Results page, while our archive of Rampage and CIHL notes for the year can be found on our archive page.

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