Friday, January 3, 2014

Rampage launch January homestretch with home and home series with the River Kings

Placements for playoff positions are on the line through January as the Prince Rupert Rampage launch the last month of CIHL play at home tonight . With the first of a home and home series against their Northwest rival and current Western Division leaders the Terrace River Kings.

The last time the two teams met, the River Kings brought an end to the four game winning streak that the Rampage had enjoyed with a decisive 10 - 1 victory, Prince Rupert will be looking to return the favour tonight and then to make the trek to Terrace for Saturday night's book end game to the home and home.

Saturday's trip to Terrace marks the last road game of the regular season for the Rampage, with a pair of weekend games against the Smithers Steelheads putting a wrap on the regular season next weekend in Prince Rupert.

The four game will be crucial to the Rampage and their eventual playoff destination, at the moment Prince Rupert is in last place in the CIHL West, two points behind the Houston Luckies, five behind both Kitimat and Smithers.

Games played is proving to make for an interesting end story to the 2013-14 season in the CIHL, the Rampage have played 14 so far, the same amount as Terrace and Smithers, while Kitimat has played 16 with Houston still to see a fair amount of action having played only 12.

The net result of the schedule makers work being that the Luckies have an opportunity to make up much ground in the remaining two weeks, while the remainder of the West will be looking to hold off any surge up the standings by Houston.

To make their push through the final four games of the regular season the Rampage will need to increase their offensive output, heading into January's finales Prince Rupert has the second lowest Goals For totals at 50 with only the Houston Luckies finding the net less often.

Towards that goal of more offence, the Rampage will be calling on their top scorers in Kory Movald (13 pts) , Jordan Weir (11 pts) , Brock Ward (11 pts)  and Craig Munro (10 pts) to make a push through the final four games to add to the points totals.

Defensively, the Rampage have the third highest Goals Against at 73, with Lac La Hache at 116 and Quesnel with 74 also struggling in their own this year.

Though in the case of Quesnel currently first in the East, their league leading 100 Goals For, clearly shows the focus is on offence in the Cariboo.

Puck drop tonight for the rare Friday Night matchup is 8 PM at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre.

You can follow the CIHL results so far from our Results/Schedule archives here, while notes on the Rampage season thus and the rest of the CIHL can be found here.

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