|The House was rocking on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon in |
Prince Rupert, as the Rampage and Hazelton Wolverines delivered
some stand out hockey in their first round playoff battle
There is no doubt about it, the loudest place in Northwestern BC if not the entire province this weekend surely was the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre Complex.
With both the Finales to the All Native Basketball Tournament, along with two Prince Rupert Rampage playoff games on the Rec Centre Marquee, the decibel counters were surely red lining it through Saturday and Sunday.
For the Rampage, the weekend made for some thrilling hockey with the Hazelton Wolverines leaving nothing in the tank as they looked to take down the home town side in their Best of three CIHL series.
The two teams went into the weekend with the Rhinos hosting a 1-0 lead in games on the strength of their tightly contested 3-2 road win last weekend in Hazelton.
Saturday night the Wolverines served notice that they would not just fade away taking on the Rampage in a wild night at the Jim, requiring Double Overtime to declare a winner, with the Hazelton squad taking the 4-3 victory and setting the stage for Sunday afternoons win or go home showdown.
Things looked pretty promising for the Rampage in the first period of the Saturday game, with the Rhinos jumping out to a two goal lead by the time the first twenty minutes were played.
Jordan Weir recorded the first Rhino marker at 12:08 with an assist from Austin Weir.
Judd Repole followed up fifty one seconds later with a helper going to Marcus Atchison.
Hazelton gained one back in the middle period, the only marker of the Second frame making it a 2-1 Rampage lead heading towards the wild third period.
Prince Rupert padded their lead within the first three minutes thanks to Kale Burns who converted a helper from Marcus Atchison, however sitting on that two goal lead would prove dangerous as the Wolverines began to find just a bit more in the tank to launch a comeback.
Picking up two goals by the fifteen minute mark, the third period ended in a three all tie, with one period of Overtime play settling nothing.
That set the stage for some heart stopping play in the Second Overtime and the Wolverines took advantage of their opportunity with Rob Raju quieting the home town fans with the winning goal for the visitors at the 2:15 mark of the Double overtime thriller, marking the final score as 4-3 Wolverines and setting the stage for Sunday's finale.
The Saturday night affair not only provided for some fast paced hockey but once again featured extensive physical play with the Wolverines making for a crowded penalty box and official record on the night, assessed 50 minutes on 17 penalty calls, compared to the 32 minutes of penalty time called for the Rampage on 12 infractions.
Keano Wilson gained the W in the Wolverine net facing 29 shots on the night, Kieran Sharpe faced a larger shot total in the Rampage nets, turning aside all but four of the 37 shots he faced.
The full overview of the Saturday game can be found here.
Sunday the two teams picked up where they left off late Saturday night, the 1 PM puck drop coming in front another large crowd at the rink.
Hazelton took advantage of some power play time early in the first to record the first goal of the game, though that was answered by just past mid period with a pair of goals from the Rampage.
Kory Movold picked up a power play marker of his own at 13:37 with helpers from Jacob Santurbano and Jeremy Boot.
Four minutes later Jordan Weir put the Rhinos in the lead with an assist going to Judd Repole.
The Second Period found the Rampage on a roll, with Jeremy Boot taking advantage of the power play to add one more to the scoreboard with a helper to Kolton Chasse at just before the one minute mark.
Four minutes later Austin Weir used the power play to his advantage with Jacob Santurbano and Jordan Weir getting assists, putting the Rampage ahead by three goals until the Wolverines narrowed the margin to two by midway of the second, with the 4-2 score holding to the intermission.
The final frame of the day started off with another scare for the Rampage, as the Wolverines brought the game to within one goal three minutes in, though the Rampage quelled any thoughts of a comeback for the Hazelton squad in quick order before the middle part of the third period.
Kory Movold regained the Rampage momentum at 4:25 with an unassisted marker, followed five minutes later by a Cole Atchison goal, with assists from Jeremy Boot and Jordan Weir.
The Wolverines made one final shot at making a run towards extending their season with a power play marker at 12:39, but the Rampage shut the door for good claiming the 6-4 victory and advancing on in the CHIL playoff season.
Considering all the extra curricular work of the Saturday game, it's hard to believe that the two teams had the energy for even more in the Sunday affair, but the scoresheet from the third and final game was a testimony to the physical toll that the game took on both teams.
When all was tabulated on the afternoon, the Wolverines had served 96 minutes of penalty time on 22 infractions almost double the time of the Rampage who were assessed 46 minutes on 16 infractions.
Kieran Sharpe took the Win for the Rampage with 22 saves on 26 shots, Keano Wilson is tagged with loss in the final game for the Wolverines for the season, he faced 30 shots on the afternoon, surrendering six goals in the elimination loss.
The full scoresheet can be reviewed here.
Some of the recent playoff action can be viewed from the Hockey Night in BC YouTube page.
The tough three game series with Hazelton should serve the Rampage well as they move on into the next round, with Prince Rupert set to launch their three game series with long standing Northwest Rival the Terrace River Kings.
With their First place finish in the regular Season, the River Kings have the home ice advantage through the upcoming weekend,
With Game One of the series set for Friday Night at the Jim with a puck drop at 8 PM.
Games two and three, the latter if required, will take place Saturday and Sunday in Terrace.
Waiting in the wings for the winners, are the Quesnel Kangaroos.
The 'Roos dispatched the Williams Lake Stampeders in quick fashion winning their Best of Three series 2-0, the second and final game featuring a 9-1 punctuation mark!
Up to date notes on the Rampage can be found from their Facebook page here.
A wider overview of the CIHL can be explored from our archive page.
To return to the most recent blog posting of the day, click here.