Thursday, February 2, 2017

Rampage and Ice Demons set for reunion, as CIHL sets playoff match ups

The Prince Rupert Rampage will be able to put the final weekend of the regular season behind them in pretty quick fashion, as the CIHL squad makes preparations for Friday night's launch of the playoffs and a trip down the road to take on the Kitimat Ice Demons.

The Rhinos finished off the year suffering a rough night in Smithers and an 11-6 loss to the Steelheads, though with little on the line for the Rampage, a mulligan on the night is probably the best approach to take, shaking off the night as not much more than a scrimmage, one that left some hints as to where they need to firm things up as the playoffs arrive.

Heading into the playoffs the match up would seem to favour the lads from Prince Rupert, the Ice Demons had a very frustrating season, going without a win over the course of the sixteen regular season games.

 Kitimat also had some struggles in their 4 head to head games with the Rampage, as Prince Rupert outscored them by a margin of 27 to 6.

However, as the ages old hockey saying goes, the playoffs indeed are a brand new season.

For Kitimat the second act for the year offers a chance to put all of there regular season woes behind and play the role of spoiler for the dreams of the fans of the Rampage, who may be hoping for a long run into the playoff season and on to the Calder Cup.

The first game of the Best of Three Series is set for the Tamitik Arena on Saturday night with a puck drop at 7:30 PM. According to the Rampage Facebook page the two teams then return to Prince Rupert for game two scheduled for Friday, February 10th. If required a third game will take place Saturday the 11th at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre.

The other match-up for the first playoff round will see the Quesnel Kangaroos taking on the Smithers Steelheads, with that series starting on February 4th.

The Steelheads will be a somewhat angry squad heading into their playoff round, despite a 24 point season, they had to wait for the final game of the regular season to play out in order to learn their fate.

And when the dust had settled and  the number crunchers at the league office had finished with their mathematical equations, it was the Williams Lake Stampeders who were found sitting atop the CIHL standings as the season ended.

That left the Steelheads in second place as the CIHL split the playoff season into east and west battles, with Smithers shifting to the showdown with the Kangaroos.

All three teams had 24 points, but the CIHL dug deep into its regulations and perhaps consulted any number of oracles to determine the 1-2-3 placement, making for a bit of a confusing situation for the first few days following the end of the season.

And once the decision was delivered, the final word from the CIHL head office proved to be a conclusion that left the River Kings somewhat disappointed as to how it all worked out.

With the official CIHL ruling, Terrace and Williams Lake will now await the winners of the Best of three series that get underway this weekend.

Playoff results can be found on our CIHL Playoff Archive page found here.

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

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