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With four games played, the Terrace Riverkings find themselves dominating the other teams in the western half of the CIHL. Only one team has beat them and last weekend the Riverkings returned the favour to the Prince Rupert Rampage by frustrating them during the entire third period.
Two weekends back the Kings visited the Rampage on their home ice. The game was a thriller; they played the first two periods without a single goal being scored. It wasn’t until the four and a half minute mark in the third when the Rampage dropped two stingers between the Terrace pipes only 12 seconds apart. One minute later Terrace was able to respond with one of their own but couldn’t stave off the Rampage as two and a half minutes after the Terrace single goal, they snuck another one past Patrick Leah making the final score 3 to 1.
That was on October 16. On October 23, the following weekend, the game was much different. The first two periods were full of action and goals, while the third was almost scoreless except for a single Terrace goal only 42 seconds after the puck dropped.
Rupert opened the game at 4:20 and held this one goal edge for most of the period. In the last minute and a half of the first, the game opened up significantly. With only 1 minute and 37 seconds left in the first Kyle Holtom started the scoring for Terrace with an assist from Rick Clair. Ten seconds later, the puck barely hit the ice, and Josh Murray added the second, assisted by Tysen Leblond. The Rampage couldn’t leave that alone and mirrored Terrace as if to say “Oh Yeah! Watch this!” and no more than twenty seconds later did the exact same thing tieing the score at two to end the first.
The second period displayed the intense passion both these teams have for the game. Their desire to come out on top saw the play race between ends with a full 11 penalties issued in the second alone. Penalties for roughing, tripping, interference, and 4 issued for fighting. But it was the fight half way into the second that had the fans from both City’s screaming and cheering.
Both Terrace and Prince Rupert added one goal to their totals. Taylor Mallet scored a brilliant breakaway blockbuster of a goal after taking a perfect long pass from Toby Mitchell. It was such a nice goal and he was so pumped he climbed straight up the plate glass in the corner behind the net. Jermy Van Den Broek took a 2 minute minor for tripping one minute later, which allowed for a power play goal for the Rampage however this was the only power play goal of the intense and rough penalty filled second.
The third opened with Terrace taking control again. Tristan Murray, assisted by Josh, scored the winning goal only 47 seconds in. The entire rest of the third was tight and hard action packed hockey. Whatever the coaching staff said to their teams between periods it worked. The third saw only one penalty called. The last three minutes of play lasted for over ten minutes as the Rampage tried to regain some action. Two time outs were called; the goalie was pulled and minutes of strategy passed. Terrace net minder Craig Walsh was performing remarkable feats catching the screened puck as it flew through the air between players, deflecting it and jumping from side to side stopping the onslaught of pressure by the six Rampage attackers.
In the end, the scored remained as it was when the period began, 4 to 3 for the Terrace Riverkings. The Kings are idle this weekend as are all the Western half teams while the Eastern half of the CIHL add more games to their played list. Both the Smithers Steelheads and the Williams Lake Stampeders have already played 6 games. The Stampeders are even set to play two more games this weekend, doubling the ‘games played’ of both Kitimat and Terrace. Smithers is currently leading in the East and will face Terrace on their own home ice on November 13 and again on November 20. The next game for Terrace is against the Hazelton Wolverines on November 6th at the Terrace Arena.
Rupert played with an empty net attempting to tie it up.