Monday, October 6, 2014

Rampage claim Season opener with 5-4 Shoot Out thriller

In the end the crowd of 800 went home happy from the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre on Saturday night, but not before a few nervous moments washed over the gathering for the team's CIHL home opener.

The Prince Rupert Rampage suffered some lapses in the second period, giving the visiting Kitimat Ice Demons a bit of momentum heading into period three,  a final frame of frantic action which saw the home side launch a comeback to take the game to overtime and on to claim a 5-4 victory in a shoot out.

The CIHL ice breaker found the Ice Demons playing their second game in two nights, though a loss in Terrace the night before seemed to spur on the visitors through the first two periods of play, leaving it to the home team to launch their third period drive to claim the first two points of the season.

Kitimat opened up the night with the first goal of the season on Rampage ice a marker at 5:38 that served to bring a hush over the always boisterous crowd, a temporary lull as things turned out, that would change but a few minutes later as the home side battled back.

Rampage goals in the first frame came from Devin Palmer who answered the opening goal by Kitimat with a Prince Rupert marker at 8:40 of the opening period, the Rampage took the lead six minutes later with a goal by Jordan Weir.

The Rampage expanded on their lead just minutes into period two, as Kory Movld found the mark on the scoreboard, suffering the effects of a nasty high stick in the process, sending him to the dressing room for repairs.

Aided by some second period defensive miscues and penalty trouble for the Prince Rupert side, the Ice Demons launched their three goal counter offensive towards the midway point of the period with goals at the nine, eleven  and fourteen minute marks of the period.

Prince Rupert's Tyler Bates tied the game up with four minutes left in the third period, a 4-4 score that held through the remainder of the period and into the overtime frame.

Five minutes of time added on settled nothing, sending the night into a shoot out with Tyler Bates returning to spotlight, his clutch marker securing victory on the second Rampage shot. 

Much of the credit for the opening night victory goes to Goaltender Devin Gerrits who shut the door on the Ice Demons in the third and through the OT, sending the Rampage on to their first victory of the season.

On the evening Gerrits faced 29 shots directed his way, while over at the Kitimat end of the rink, the Ice Demons faced 31 shots on the evening before Bates brought the game to an end in the shoot out.

The second period was by far the most physical of the night, keeping officials busy with their paper work. By games end, the penalty totals were Kitimat 30 minutes on 16 infractions, while the Rampage were assessed 32 minutes of penalty time on 16 calls.

The full score sheet for Saturday's game can be found here.

One fan who perhaps went home happier than the rest was James Brown,  the winner of a trip for two to Vancouver, courtesy of Hawkair.  James fired a shot from centre ice that found the magic mark on the net, much to the enjoyment of the crowd.

Perhaps, considering his laser like shot making, the Rampage may wish to keep Mr. Brown on the negotiation list, for potential use later this season.

The Rampage next return to action on Saturday when head off to Terrace and an 8 PM match up with the River Kings.

You can find more on the Rampage and the CIHL from our archive pages here and here.

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