down one game in a best of three showdown with the Terrace River Kings.
Things looked good for the Rhinos through the first twenty minutes, the Rampage coming out fast in the opening frame and jumping out to a 1-0 lead as they headed to the intermission, the sole goal of the period coming from Cole Morris with an assist to Jacob Santurbano.
Things however unravelled significantly in the middle period as a steady parade to the penalty box by both teams and surge in scoring by the visitors propelled the River Kings to a 3-1 lead after forty minutes.
The story of the 2nd period however was a definite increase in hostilities, a twenty minute period that accounted for all 55 of the Rampage penalty minutes in the game, the bulk of which were assessed during a number of melees at the thirteen minute mark of the period. One of which even involved Rampage goaltender Devin Gerrits.
When all was said and done, three Prince Rupert players were assessed majors and misconducts, with Jordan Aubree, Jared Meers and Kory Movald all banished from play.
With those key elements of the Rampage sent off the ice, the offensive game for the home team suffered, as would be expected when some of top scoring threats are not available.
While the two teams handed out the ice packs and patched up any cuts in the intermission, the penalty bench timekeepers worked on their notes. Transcribing the lengthy entries for the scoring summary to be released following the game, a document that looked like a Prince Rupert Court registry on your average Wednesday afternoon.
Period three was quiet on the law enforcement side and even offered a brief hint of a Rampage comeback as Tyler Ostrom snared the Rhinos second goal of the night at the just past the ten minute mark of the final period, Ostrom was set up by Tyler Matalone and Jean-Luc Fournier.
As things moved forward however, the building excitement in the Jim would be short lived and the Ostrom goal would be the last Prince Rupert saw of the goal light at the Terrace end on the night.
The visitors picked up a couple of insurance markers on their way home, taking a 4-2 lead at the sixteen minute point, followed by an empty net goal with but five seconds to go in the game to make it a 5-2 final.
The Terrace squad finished the night off with 5 goals on 28 shots, with Prince Rupert's Devin Gerrit's turning aside 24 of the 28 directed his way.
The Rampage had their chances through the game, firing 24 attempts at Terrace's Jared Rathjen, however the River King goaltender stood tall in the nets holding off the Prince Rupert attack and surrendering only the two goals on the night.
For their part, the River Kings also served a fair amount of time in the penalty box sitting assessed 67 minutes on 17 infractions by the time the final horn would sound on the night, the majority of those of course coming during the battles of the wild second period.
The Terrace penalty kill however would prove resilient, holding off the Prince Rupert scoring threats and escaping unscathed from the short handed experiences.
With the win the River Kings took a one game to none lead in the series, with the two teams returning to Terrace this weekend for games on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon if required.
Those that cant' make the trip down highway 16 to the Terrace Ice Arena will be able to watch the action thanks to CityWest, which will be broadcasting the games through their HD and Standard definition channels.
The full score sheet can be examined here.
In the other CIHL playoff match up from Saturday, the Williams Lake Stampeders took charge of their best of three with Quesnel topping the Kangaroos by a score of . Those two teams also head back to the ice this weekend, with games two and three in the Stampede city.
You can keep up to date on the CIHL playoffs from our archive page here.
More notes on the Rampage as they prepare for their trip to Terrace see their Facebook page here.
A recent item from that portal notes that there are plans in motion to put together a party bus to head to Terrace, the cost for the trip is 35 dollars.
To take a look back at the 2016-17 season and for more updates as the playoffs move forward see our Rampage Archive page here.