The Omineca Ice faced Coy Cup defending champions the Williams Lake Stampeders on Saturday night in an exciting game which drew a large local crowd.
The Stampeders dominated the game from the get-go with seven goals in the first period. The first came from Wilf Robbins after just a minute. The second was scored by Matt Lees with 15 minutes left of period one. Wilf Robbins scored a second time with 12 minutes left.
Williams Lake got in another three before the Ice answered back with two consecutive goals in the last three minutes of the first period. Nolan O’Brien scored the first, assisted by Justin Alessandrini and just 20 seconds later David Gordon, assisted by Justin Bardarson and Rylan Stanyer, brought the score to 2 – 6. The Stampeders managed to snag a seventh goal scored by Francis Johnson with just seconds to go in the first period.
Despite a five goal gap, the Ice came back with a vengeance in the second period and it paid off. Tyrell Turgeon scored three consecutive goals, the first, just seconds after the period began. After five minutes Turgeon scored again and completed his hat trick with a third goal with six minutes left of the period.
Justin Bardarson closed the scoring gap even further with the last goal of the period just seconds later, assisted by Curt Strimboltz and Rylan Stanyer, bringing the score to 7 – 6 for Williams Lake.
Both teams fought hard in the third period and with three minutes left of the game and Williams Lake still sitting a goal ahead, Vanderhoof decided to pull their goalie and snag a tie.
Unfortunately the open net worked against the Ice and the Stampeders scored two more goals before the game ended, putting the score at 6 – 9.
“At the end of the game we were down by a goal … and usually when we pull the goalie at the end of the game, we’re been pretty good at tying it up,” said Omineca Ice coach Chris Reed.
“I think we just ran out of gas tonight.
“They [Williams Lake] are one of the strongest teams in the league – they showed up completely stacked and ready to play, we came out completely flat,” he said.
On Sunday the Ice faced the Kitimat Ice Demons at the Fraser Lake arena. Kitimat won the game 5-4 in a shootout.
Reed says the Ice are still in good shape for making it to the playoffs.
“You have to be third in your division to make the playoffs and we’re third right now – so were still on the playoff hunt,” he said.
“I don’t really care about our scores during the season as long as we get the wins when they count.”