Monday, December 21, 2015
Steelheads strengthen lead atop CIHL West with 6-3 victory over Rampage
Things remained very close between the Rampage and the visitors through the first forty minutes of play, with the two teams trading off goals in the closely battled showdown.
The Steelheads took the lead late into the first period on a power play marker that provided them with a 1-0 advantage after twenty minutes.
The Rampage countered that first period marker with one of their own off the stick of Kory Movald picking up the equalizer at the 16:42 point of the second, with the assist going to Jared Meers.
The goal in the late moments of the middle frame left the two teams tied after forty minutes and set the stage for a final twenty minutes that would see the goals come fast and furious in the opening minutes of the final period.
It was during the first five minutes that final twenty that the 440 fans at the Jim saw the much anticipated and highly effective Steelheads offence in full flight.
As the visitors, aided by power play situations that carried over from period two, scored four straight goals before the four minute mark. An offensive burst that gave the Smithers squad a commanding 5-1 lead towards the mid way point of period three.
There was some resistance shown in the third by the Rampage, the early push back at the 9:12 mark when Kory Movald picked up his second goal of the night, assisted by Tyler Halliday and Jordan Venditelli.
Two minutes later, Brayden Horcoff picked up the third Rampage goal of the night on the power play with Kale Burns and Tyler Ostrom providing the assists.
The flurry of Rampage markers set the scene for what the home side fans were hoping would be an impressive comeback, however this time around that was not to be, as the Steelheads regained control of the flow to a degree, keeping the Rhinos at bay as the minutes ticked off the clock.
An empty net goal at 19:12 of the third securing the victory for Smithers, keeping their grasp firm on the lead in the CIHL West through to January now.
The Third period power plays proved pivotal for the Steelheads and that came from events in the late stages of the middle frame where the Rampage were assessed two majors for boarding, with Jean-Luc Fournier assessed a Game Misconduct when all was sorted out.
Those calls were reflective of the chippy play and parade of penalties through the game, with Smithers assessed 28 minutes on ten infractions, while the Rampage sat out 35 minutes in the box on thirteen penalty calls.
All told, the Steelheads made the best of their man advantage situations, scoring 5 of their 6 goals on their 9 power play opportunities. While the Rampage could only convert 1 of their 7 times with the man advantage into a scoring situation.
You can review the full scoring summary here.
The CIHL now takes it's Holiday break, with no games scheduled until the first week of January.
The Rampage will get a bit of extra time to work out the traditional Holiday period feasting and festivities, their first match up of 2016 will be a trek into Kitimat on January 8th.
For a look back at the schedule and scores to this point see our results archive page here.
While more background on the Rampage and the CIHL can be found here.