eventually claim a 4-3 Overtime Victory at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre.
Things looked good for the home town Rampage in the early going, the Rhinos holding their own against the Steelheads, the two teams locked into a 0-0 tie after twenty minutes.
Prince Rupert picked up the pace of their game in the middle frame, with an offensive burst that saw two goals scored in seven minutes, the first a Craig Munro marker, assisted by Jacob Santurbano and Jordan Aubree at 8:52.
Just after the fifteen minute point of the second Tyler Ostrom found his range to add to the Ramapge lead, with assists going to Josh Cook and another helper for Jordan Aubree.
The second period ended with what would be an omen of sorts for what was to come as the Rhinos once again ran into some penalty trouble, a theme that has proven problematic for much of the 2016-17 season.
Tyler Halliday's tripping penalty in the last minute of the middle period, provided the Steelheads with a power play opportunity that carried over into the third period.
From that point the Smithers squad made the most of their man advantage at the 21 second mark, providing for their first goal of the night and serving notice that a comeback was about to be launched.
Prince Rupert regained a temporary two goal barrier shortly afterwards when Kory Movald scored on a play that found Tyler Halliday and Tyler Ostrom grabbing assists as they added to the offensive push.
However, that third period marker at 2:05 on the clock would be the final time that the Rampage would put a puck behind Smithers goaltender David Little who shut the door for the remainder of the night.
The Steelheads momentum began to build once again two minutes later when they pulled within one goal of the hometown Rampage, they pulled even at 3-3 just before the sixteen minute mark when another power play opportunity proved successful as Rampage forward Jordan Aubree sat out a two minute high sticking penalty.
The Rampage held off any further scoring opportunities in regulation time, setting the scene for a wild Overtime finish for the final regular season game of the year at the Jim.
The teams traded off scoring chances in the early going, however once again a penalty call would have a major impact in the final result, with Tyler Ostrom sent off the ice and assessed a two minute hooking penalty in the first minute of the overtime.
And while they came close to killing that one off, the Smithers pressure in the end would prevail as Steelhead Mike Wall picked up his second goal of the game, putting the Rampage away after just two minutes of Overtime play.
The finally tally on the penalty front found the Rampage in the box for 12 minutes of time served on six infractions, while the Steelheads were only assessed 8 minutes of penalty time on four infractions.
By games end, the Steelhead's goaltender David Little had turned aside 23 of 26 Rampage shots, while Prince Rupert's Brett Roth faced 31 shots from Smithers through the three regulation periods and overtime.
You can review the full summary from Saturday night here.
The victory keeps the Steelheads on pace with the Williams Lake Stampeders, with the Stamps but two points ahead of Smithers with weekend play to come.
Though the odds are long for the Steelheads to jump to the top, in the event of a tie at the end of the season the Stamps clearly have the goal differential advantage.
The Steelheads host the Rampage to wrap up their regular season schedule, while Williams Lake will finish up the season hosting the Terrace River Kings on Sunday in the final game prior to the playoffs.
For Prince Rupert, fourth place will be their destiny as the regular season comes to an end regardless of how they fare in the Bulkley Valley, the Rhinos are currently far enough ahead to keep Quesnel at bay, however they are too far behind at four points to catch the Terrace River Kings in third.
You can keep up to date on items of note from the Rampage through their Facebook page.
More items related to the CIHL can be found on our Results page found here and Rampage Archive page which is available here.
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