That development coming after the Smithers Steelheads announced their plans over the summer, advising that they are to bow out of competition for now.
And indeed for a bit of the summer, it appeared that the fate of the league might be in peril with Kitimat also having some struggles in securing enough players for the upcoming season, taking to their Facebook page in May to make a call for commitments.
As things evolved through July and August, five teams indicated plans to move forward with the 2017-18 season, with the league to feature the three Northwest teams of Kitimat, Terrace and Prince Rupert, to go along with the two Cariboo squads of Quesnel and Williams Lake.
The call of the ice has remained strong over the summer for the remaining teams, with tryouts now under way across the league this month.
Have you got what it takes? Quesnel Kangaroos host tryouts
Terrace River Kings hit the ice for tryouts
On the local front, the Prince Rupert Rampage remain on a bit of a stealth mode so far, with few notes updated on their various on line portals offering up any kind of background on the season ahead.
However, a glimpse of the schedule for 2017-18 indicates that travel will be one element of the season that will make for some challenges for the Northwest teams. With the Rhinos on the road for much of October and a stretch through late November and into December.
As the season moves forward into the late fall and early winter, the Rupert squad will load up the highway cruiser for long range journeys on two occasions, with the lengthy road treks deep into the Cariboo set for October and December.
The home stretch towards playoff time however will make for a string of home dates in the friendly confines of the Civic Centre, with five Rampage dates scheduled at the Jim from December 9th on to the end of the season in late January.
Opening night for the sixteen game season comes up on September 30th at the Jim, when the Rampage play host to the Kitimat Ice Demons for a 7 PM puck drop.
The full Rampage home schedule looks as follows:
(Home games in Red, Road Games in Green)
September 30 -- Kitimat Ice Demons at Rampage -- 7 PM (Jim Ciccone CC)
October 14 -- Prince Rupert at Williams Lake 7 PM
October 15 -- Prince Rupert at Quensel Noon
October 21 -- Prince Rupert at Kitimat 7 PM
October 28 -- Terrace River Kings at Rampage -- 7 PM (Jim Ciccone CC)
November 4 -- Prince Rupert at Terrace 7 PM
November 18 -- Kitimat Ice Demons at Rampage -- 7 PM (Jim Ciccone CC)
November 25 -- Prince Rupert at Terrace -- 7 PM
December 2 -- Prince Rupert at Quesnel -- 7 PM
December 3 -- Prince Rupert at Williams Lake -- 7 PM
December 9 -- Kitimat at Rampage -- 7 PM (Jim Ciccone CC)
December 16 -- Terrace at Ramapge -- 7 PM (Jim Ciccone CC)
January 6 -- Prince Rupert at Kitimat -- 7 PM
January 13 -- Williams Lake at Rampage -- 7 PM (Jim Ciccone CC)
January 20 -- Terrace at Rampage -- 7 PM (Jim Ciccone CC)
January 21 -- Quesnel at Ramapge -- 1 PM (Jim Ciccone CC)
You can keep up to the latest notes out of the Rampage camp through the following options
Prince Rupert Rampage website
Rupert Rampage Facebook page
Rupert Ramapge Twitter feed
As we have in the past, we'll track the developments of the CIHL through our archive pages, with our 2017-18 edition now available for viewing below:
Rampage Results Page