Friday, November 25, 2016

Cariboo calling for the Prince Rupert Rampage

The longest road trip of the season is on the horizon for the Prince Rupert Rampage as the western most outpost of the CIHL, makes the lengthy trek to the southernmost point of the CIHL map this weekend.

The always challenging Cariboo road trip makes for the weekend schedule for the Rhinos who will take to the ice against the Stampeders in Williams Lake on Saturday night, before reversing their travel plans back to the North Coast. 

A journey home that will also include a stop in Quesnel for a Sunday afternoon match up with the Kangaroos.

In years past the Cariboo road trek has played a pivotal point in the Rampage season, the results from the CIHL south having a significant role in where the Prince Rupert squad would finish the season in the standings.

That  may be the case once again for the Rampage, who head into the weekend having come off a tough 5-4 Overtime loss on home ice to the Terrace River Kings

That match up from last Saturday evening marked by a strong comeback by the River Kings who took advantage of some undisciplined play by the Rhinos in the second period, storming back to snatch the two points away from Prince Rupert.

The second period from Saturday's play notable for how the Rampage had let their 3-0 lead from the first evaporate almost from the drop of the puck from the middle frame. An issue that the coaching staff will most likely be looking to address as the team takes on one of the top rosters to be found in the CIHL.

That need to remain focused for all three periods will be key for the Rampage as they head into Cariboo country for their first game Saturday night. 

The Stampeders are sitting atop the CIHL standings with a 6 and 1 record to this point hosting a league leading 47 Goals For, along with a stingy Goals Against total of 22

When it comes to time sitting in the penalty box, the Stamps are either receiving some serious benefits of a doubt from the referee staff, or they are the most disciplined squad in the league with only 82 minutes of penalty time recorded after seven games of play.

That's the opposite of the Prince Rupert story which has found Rampage players sitting in the penalty box for 225 minutes so far this year, making them the second most penalized team of the six team circuit.

The journey into Quesnel on Sunday does offer up the chance for some success, with the hosts for the day currently hosting a 3-3-1 record two points behind the Rampage. 

Sunday however could make for a rough afternoon for the Rupert lads, the Kangaroos currently hold the lead when it comes to penalty time, with 227 minutes assessed in their seven games of 2016-17.

Which would seem to suggest that the one-two placement when it comes to Total Penalty minutes will most likely see some additions before the weekend comes to an end.

A sweep of the weekend would go along way towards a statement by the Rampage for the season to this point. Capturing the four points that are on the ice for less than 24 hours, could vault the Prince Rupert squad to the top of the standings by the time the bus heads back down Highway 16 westbound.

You can look over the Rampage results so far this year from our Results page here.

More notes on the Rampage and the CIHL can be found on our Rampage Archive page.

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