Saturday night the Rampage rolled into Williams Lake ready for a mid-season showdown with the Stampeders, a battle between top teams with both having had strong starts to the 2018-19.
On this trip however, in a highly entertaining match up, it would be the home side that prevailed.
The Stampeders turned on the offence for the final twenty minutes to pull away from the Prince Rupert visitors sealing their top team status with 7-4 victory to claim undisputed status as the top team to this point of the CIHL schedule.
The game was a tightly contested back and forth affair for the bulk of the first two period, with the Stamps jumping out to the lead early in the first and taking a 1-0 lead into the room after twenty minutes.
Period two saw the Rampage and Stamps trade off goals like the heavyweights they are, the Rampage taking the lead in the first five minutes, following goals from Judd Repole with Cody Hodges claiming the helper and Logan Morris, who scored an unassisted marker at 4:32.
The Stamps answered right back with two of their own midway through the middle frame, followed by another unassisted Rampage goal off the stick of Cole Morris with five minutes to go in the second.
Williams Lake took a 4-3 lead into the break, setting the stage for the final twenty minutes of play between the leagues two top teams.
The Stamps padded their lead to two goals in the first two minutes of play, the Rampage returning to the scoring sheet midway through the third with Coltin Chasse's marker, assisted again by Cody Hodges, however that was the last of the Rupert resistance.
Despite some frantic action in the Rampage push, Two more goals, both empty netters in the final two minutes of play put the game away for the hosts, making the final a 7-4 count.
The back and forth flow of the game came from a contest with few penalties, with only five assessed on the day, all minors, three for the Stamps, two for the Rampage.
Willie Sellars held off the Rampage attack for Stamps facing 35 shots in the Kangaroos net, while David Wood saw 21 shots directed his way through the course of the Saturday night showdown.
You can review the full scoring summary here.
The Quesnel squad opening up a 2-0 lead with two quick goals in the final minutes of the opening period, Prince Rupert then put some significant pressure on the hosts through the second, collecting all four of their goals in the middle frame of the afternoon contest.
Three minutes into the second period it was Cody Koskimaki who led off the Rampage scoring, with assists to Coltin Chasse and Judd Repole.
Three minutes later it was Cole Morris with the marker with Tyler Ostrom and Logan Morris assigned the helpers on the scoring play.
Ostrom picked up a goal of his own at the fourteen minute mark, assisted by Judd Repole.
Cole Morris added the final Rampage goal, his second on the afternoon at the fifteen minute mark, assisted again by Ostrom and Coltin Chasse.
Quesnel however would have little interest in letting the Rampage claw their way back into the match, picking up three of their own goals by just past the midway point of the second period, with one additional marker towards the end.
The Kangaroos took full charge of the game with a 6-4 lead heading into the final period, the two teams traded of a number of scoring opportunities through much of the third period, before Quesnel put the game away with two late goals in the final five minutes of play to secure the 8-4 final.
The Rampage power play failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities, as the Kangaroos spent sixteen minutes in the penalty box on eight infractions on the day, the Rampage only had to face two minutes of penalty time on one infraction in the second period.
Brandon Peacock faced 29 shots in the Quesnel net, while Brett Roth faced the attack from the Kangaroos turning aside 24 of the 32 shots that came his way.
The full scoring summary from the stop in Quesnel can be found here.
With the weekend play the Rampage still remain among the top tier of the five team circuit, holding second place with twelve points, two behind the Stamps, one ahead of the Kangaroos.
The Rhinos will have a couple of weeks to rest up from the road work and regroup for the home stretch of the CIHL season, they next play on Saturday, December 8th when they play host to the Kitimat Ice Demons.
The Kitimat squad had their own troubles over the weekend, but none of them were on the ice, rather it was the nature of the ice at the venue. The Saturday night game between the River Kings and Ice Demons had to be postponed after mechanical issues at the Tamitik Arena.
So far there is no word as to when it may reopen to the public, with the next update planned for Tuesday afternoon. It's hoped that the River Kings/Ice Demons game will be rescheduled for December.
For Rampage schedule watchers, there are two dates to mark on the calendar for January, with the Stampeders and Kangaroos both making the return trip to the North Coast on the 26th and 27th, providing an opportunity for the Ramapge to return the hospitality of the weekend just passed.
For a look back at the Rampage season to this point see our Results page here.
A wider overview of notes from the CIHL can be found from our archive page.
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