Monday, February 6, 2017

Rampage hold off Kitimat comeback to take 1-0 series lead in CIHL opening round

The Prince Rupert Rampage
celebrating a hard earned road victory
in Game one of their Best of 3 series
with the Kitimat Ice Demons

(From the Rampage Facebook page)
Forget the scoresheets of the regular season, game one of the 2017 CIHL playoffs saw a much more focused Kitimat Ice Demons on the ice as they battled hard to make the Rupert Rampage earn the ice breaker win of their best of three series.

The Ice Demons who struggled through much of the regular season channelled all their offence for the opening game of the series, trading goals with the Rampage as the first period moved along, a theme that would carry through for the full sixty minutes of play.

The Rampage were first to the scoreboard shortly after the drop of the first puck, with Thomas Robinson, taking advantage of a power play opportunity on an Ice Demon hooking call in the first minute of play.

Robinson converted a passing combination from Kory Movald and Jacob Santurbano to put the Rampage up 1-0 at the 1:38 mark.

Kitimat would answer that goal five minutes later, leaving the teams to trade chances until the 17:29 point of the period when Jared Meers put the Rampage back into the lead with an assist going to Craig Munro.

The Ice Demons however did not bend, pulling even in the last minute of the opening frame.

Period Two found the Kitimat squad putting a push on the Rampage, with the Ice Demon taking 4-2 lead by the fifteen minute mark of the middle period.

That fourth Kitimat goal however served as a bit of a wake up call for the visitors from Prince Rupert, with the Rampage battling back late in the period to tie the game with two goals in less than two minutes.

Jared Meers figured in both comeback goals in the second, scoring one at 17:29 with an assist going to Craig Munro, 90 second later Meers and Munro combined with assists as Kory Movald knotted the game at 4 apiece at the 18:50 mark.

The Rampage continued with their offensive push in the third, as Josh Cook picked up the team's fifth goal on the night at 4;13 with Jared Davis in on the helper.

One minute later Prince Rupert had a two goal advantage as Ryan Stace-Smith made the score 6-4 with Tylser Ostrom providing the assist in what would be the final Rampage goal of the night.

From that point on, the Rampage had to hold off a determined Ice Demon comeback, with the home side reducing the margin to one just before the thirteen minute mark.

The Rampage regrouped to shut down any further ambitions to send the game to overtime from the Kitimat team, claiming the 6-5 victory at the final whistle, taking a 1-0 lead in the best of three series.

The two teams came close to splitting the penalty time on the night, with Prince Rupert assessed 18 minutes of time on 9 infractions, while the Ice Demons found themselves in the box for 20 minutes of penalty time on ten infractions.

Jordan Vanderweil claimed the win in the Rampage nets turning aside 30 of the 35 shots he faced, Brett Vilness is marked with the loss, he faced 36 shots by the games' end.

You can review the full box score from Friday night's game here.

The two teams will reunite on Friday evening at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre as the Rampage play host to the Ice Demons in Game number two starting at 7 PM.

Should there be a need for a third game in the best of three series, that would take place on Saturday evening.

You can follow the 2017 CIHL playoffs from our Playoff archive page.

General notes on the CIHL from both the regular season and this playoff run can be reviewed from our Rampage archive page.

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