Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Time Running out on Rampage Playoff bid after 9-0 drubbing in Kitimat

Playing with a reduced roster over the holiday period left the Prince Rupert Rampage a tired lot following Saturday night's post holiday return for the CIHL.

With but fourteen skaters for each team in the lineup, the Kitimat Ice Demons put an exclamation point on the push for the playoffs, scoring 9 goals through sixty minutes for what are now two very important points in the CIHL West standings.

Things unravelled for the Rampage at the mid-way point of the first period, when Kitimat picked up four goals in less than four minutes, the first coming at 10:17 of the opening period, with the fourth marker recorded at 13:24.

The burst of scoring taking the Kitimat squad to the dressing room with a four to nothing lead after twenty minutes.

The Ice Demons picked up the pace again midway through period number two, with two goals at near the eight minute mark and a third to follow with two minutes to play in the second, the middle frame marked by a range of interference, slashing and stick calls through the middle twenty.

The frustrations came out again in the third as Jordan Aubree picked up three penalties at the 12 minute mark, a Fighting Major, Instigator and Game Misconduct to bring his night to an end, followed eight minutes later by his team mates, as Kitimat added two more goals to bring their game end total to nine on the night, the worst thumping of the year so far for the Rampage.

Kitimat fired 39 shots on the Prince Rupert net through the night, the duties split almost evenly between Devin Gerrits and Jordan Vanderwiel who both recorded fifteen saves on the evening.

And while many might think that a 9-0 shutout suggests a lack of offence on the part of the Rampage, offensively they were engaged in the evening,  managing to fire 24 shots at the Kitimat net.

However, Brandon Highton rose to the occasion for the home side, turning aside each and every shot over the sixty minutes.

You can review the full scoring summary here.

Considering the importance of the final weeks of the regular season, the CIHL might want to consider a slightly longer holiday break for its teams, the absence of a number of players for both squads an indication as to how hard it is to remain competitive over the Chirstmas/New Years period.

Still, both teams did take to the ice, one team won and the other didn't and for fans of the Rampage it was their team on the wrong end of the scoreboard over the weekend.

That loss however was a costly one for Prince Rupert's playoff hopes for 2014-15, the win providing the Ice Demons with a two point lead with three games to go in the CIHL regular season.  Leaving the Rampage to look for a fair bit of help now, should they wish to play beyond the middle of January.

For Prince Rupert the road will pass through Terrace, with a home and home series on January 2nd and 3rd, the Friday match up in Terrace and then the Rampage host the River Kings at the Jim on Saturday night at 8 PM.

The Rampage then wrap up the regular season on January 16th when Terrace makes one more trek down highway 16 for a Friday night match at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre.

While the Rampage look to get by the River Kings, the Ice Demons will be looking to build on their lead with two home games against Smithers on January 10 and 11 and then a road trip on the 17th to wrap the regular season on the 17th.

With eighteen days to go to secure a playoff position, the Rampage will be tracking the CIHL scoreboard with a wary eye, hopeful that by the time the River Kings pull into town on the 17th that there is still a playoff spot for the taking.

Tonight however, the Rampage will take the night off when it comes to thinking about the playoff picture, as the squad hosts their New Years Eve Bash at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre, with doors opening at 6:30.

You can learn more about that event from their Facebook page here.

You can review the season so far for the Prince Rupert Rampage from our archive page.

As well our Results and the Schedule page can be found here.

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