The Rampage held their own in a fast paced and physical match up with the River Kings, one which thoroughly thrilled the 800 plus in attendance at a raucous Jim Ciccone Civic Centre.
The crowd was in full throttle through the first as the Rampage took the lead at 12:42 with a Jordan Weir marker, with assists going to Devin Palmer and Greg Sheppard. Weir's goal would be the only one to register on the scoreboard in period one and would carry the Rampage on into the second period.
In the middle frame, the River Kings brought the game even at the 5:36 mark, providing for the only scoring play of a very physical second period, one which saw 12 penalties called, the majority for roughing, or boarding. The physical play would provide for tone for the remainder of the game and set the scene for one of the more thrilling of third periods seen at the Jim this season.
The third period got off to a fast start for the Rampage, as the home side picked up their second goal of the night at the 2:54 mark, with Jeff Coolin picking up the goal, with assists going to Devin Palmer and Marcus Atchison.
The lead would hold through until the 13:30 point, when Terrace once gain tied the game up, a power play marker that served to bring a bit of quiet to the madhouse for a few moments, before the home crowd once again reminded the Terrace visitors that this was a road game.
More rough play in the third, which included misconducts and an ejection for the River Kings put the Rampage onto the power play for the final few minutes of the third and that, along with the energy of the crowd at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre translated into a winning goal for the Prince Rupert side.
Devin Palmer collected his third point of the night at 19:15 of the third, as timely a goal as a Rampage fan could hope for, as he put the the power play marker behind Garret Muir in the Terrace nets, Travis Helland and Josh Kierce picked up the assists on what would be the game winning goal.
The game one stats package provided a review for the 3 goals on 23 Rampage shots on the Terrace nets, while Warren Hansen turned in a stellar performance, turning aside all but two of the 33 shots directed his way on the night.
The officiating crew had a busy night, with the River Kings assessed some 34 minutes of penalty time on 14 infractions, while the Rampage served 22 minutes on 11 infractions.
With the buzzer bringing an end to the night's action, the Rampage suddenly found themselves in the driver's seat in the CIHL West semi-final showdown. Holding claim to a 1 game to 0 lead in their best of three series, with games two and three destined for Terrace next weekend.
The task ahead is still a large one, but with a solid Saturday night performance behind them the Rampage will be heading off to Terrace with a renewed sense of confidence. No doubt hoping to move on to the next round with a Saturday victory, but aware that with their Game One win they now have two chances if required, to put away their divisional rival.
Other CIHL results this weekend saw the Williams Lake Stampeders take a 1 game to 0 lead over the Lac La Heche Tomahawks on the strength of a 5-4 Saturday night victory.
The Houston Luckies topped the Quesnel Kangaroos 4-3, taking a 1 game to 0 lead in their series.
While the Smithers Steelheads knocked off the Kitimat Ice Demons 6-4 also taking a 1 game to 0 lead in their series.
You can find more items on the Rampage Playoff series and other CIHL notes from our Schedule/Results page and from our CIHL News archive.
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