Friday, December 2, 2016

Rampage return to the Road for final regular season showdown with River Kings

They've had five days to work out the muscle cramps from their marathon road trip into the Cariboo last weekend which delivered a split for the Prince Rupert Rampage. But the road warriors of the North Coast will be hopping back on the bus tomorrow, taking to Highway 16 and a showdown with their Northwest rivals in Terrace.

The Rampage and River Kings have met three times so far in the 2016-17 season, Prince Rupert claiming the initial victory back on October 8th, when they took two points out of the Terrace Ice Arena by a score of 4-2.

Since then however, the River Kings have found success right in the home domain of the Rampage, with two victories that made the normally noisy madhouse on McBride a rather quiet place for post game reflection.

Terrace have outscored the Rampage by margins of 6 to 3 on October 15 and an 5 to 4, in an OT thriller on November 19th.  The advantage on the scoreboard providing for Terrace's one point lead in the very tight upper tier of the CIHL standings, each point now pivotal as we head into the first week of action for December.

The two teams have show some similar traits so far in the year, nearly equal in the Goals For department, with the Rampage led by the scoring touch of Josh Cook who vaulted into the top ten of CIHL scoring leaders after last weekend.

Heading into Saturday night, Cook has 3 goals and 10 assists, results from the scoreboard that have him in a three way tie for the eight spot.

Josh Cook has cracked the top ten of CIHL Scorers
(photo Prince Rupert Rampage)

As for the defensive stats, the Rampage need to be a little more disciplined in their own end if they hope to reduce the Goals Against stats that so far have them surrendering 44 markers after nine games of play.

Physical play is always a key element of any Terrace/Rupert matchup and that's reflected by the Penalties in minutes that have been assessed through to the end of November, with the Rampage a slightly more penalized team at 235 minutes than the River Kings who still have cracked the 220 minute mark.  That's a trend that suggests that Saturday night could make for a long night for the linesmen tasked with keeping the peace.

In a unique twist to the CIHL schedule, tomorrow night is the last that the two teams will see of each other until any potential match up that may come around playoff time. That should add just a little bit more incentive to an already high energy rivalry with the two points up for grabs something of significant interest for the Rampage.

As the final two months of the regular season get under way this weekend, total points will play an important aspect for home ice advantage during the post season. Making a statement on Saturday in Terrace could push the Rampage into the playoff stretch with prospects of a home ice advantage key to their ambitions for a shot at the Coy Cup.

Puck drop in Terrace is 7 PM for those that may heading up the Skeena over the weekend.

More items on the Rampage and the CIHL can be found on our archive page here.

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