Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Rampage look to New Year to get back on track, after Saturday loss to Terrace

The Prince Rupert Rampage brought their part of the CIHL schedule for 2017 to an end on a losing note as the Rhinos dropped a 8-5 decision to the visiting Terrace River Kings on Saturday night.

And while the home side got the jump on the Terrace squad early on thanks to an opening minute goal from Brendan Devries before the first minute of play was up, the remaining nineteen minutes of play provided Rampage fans with a glimpse at one of the top offensive units in the CIHL as the River Kings found the range on four occasions in the first period of play, heading into the first intermission up 4-1.

The Rampage bounced back in the early part of the second, as Cody Cringan and Kory Movold both collected markers to narrow the River King lead, only to see the River King respond moments later to create another two goal buffer between the teams.

The back and forth battle of the second period saw the Rampage regain some momentum just before the sixteen minute mark, when Jordan Weir potted a goal, but as the flow of the game had predicted previous, that was quickly answered by the River Kings who collected on a short handed goal, along with one more before period two game to an end, with the visitors holding a 7-4 lead with twenty minutes to play.

The Rampage put on a strong push for a comeback, rewarded for their work by a goal from Kory Movold's second marker on the night, but Terrace held off the charge and added some insurance in the dying seconds of the third with an empty netter, making the final River Kings 8, Rampage 5.

The victory for the Terrace squad propels them to first place in the CIHL a standing that they can add to later this month when they bring December to an end with trip to Kitimat on the 30th,

For the Rampage who take a record of 5-3-1-3 towards the New Year, the Christmas and New Year break now beckons, with the team off the ice until January 6th when they head for Kitimat and a match up with the Ice Demons at Tamitik.

Following the trip to the Aluminum City, the Rampage wrap up the regular season home with three home games in January.

The home stretch schedule looks as follows:

January 13 -- Williams Lake Stampeders vs Rampage
January 20 -- Terrace River Kings at Rampage
January 21 -- Quesnel Kangaroos at Rampage 

Those three games will be key for the team not only when it comes to the schedule, but on the team's financial report as well.

Prior to last Saturday's game with Terrace, a story in the Northern View highlighted some of the financial concerns that the team has, with attendance for home games sliding downwards this year, a situation that Rampage officials are indicating is a significant issue for the future of the CIHL team.

Attendance concerns on the North Coast aren't the only issue that the five team league is facing at the moment.

As we noted in the off season, the Smithers Steelheads took this season off owing to recruitment fatigue for their team, a situation which turned out to benefit the Rampage who picked up a few players from the Steelheads this season.

So far however, there has been little heard from Smithers as to any return for 2018-19, as for the current listings of teams, there may be some potential trouble on the horizon for the circuit out of Quesnel.

Earlier this month, a showcase of junior hockey in Quesnel featured two teams from the Kootenay Junior League, (including a large number from the Northwest) it is part of a series of games for Quesnel that is being seen by many in BC hockey circles as a test drive for a potential junior hockey team for the community.

The Kamloops Storm, who hosted the December showcase, have scheduled a number of games in the community to take to the ice at the new West Fraser Centre.

Williams Lake already has a KIJHL team, (to a fashion, though based out of 100 Mile House) which competes with the Stampeders for attendance during the hockey season and adding Quesnel to the circuit would certainly build on the already strong rivalry in the Cariboo.

Should the audition prove to be successful, the prospect of competition for the Kangaroos could be yet another hurdle that the CIHL has to face.

You can find more items of note on the CIHL from our archive page.

For a look back at the Rampage results so far this year see our Schedule/Results page here.

Note: item has been corrected to note that the actual location of the KIJHL team is in 100 Mile House and not Williams Lake.

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