The Omineca Ice took two points in a victorious away win over the Quesnel Kangaroos on Saturday night despite a short bench.
More than 900 fans packed into the small arena in Quesnel to watch the aggressive game that led to two Ice players needing medical attention.
The Kangaroos, who are currently sitting at the top of the Eastern Division, came with 25 skaters compared to only 12 skaters for the Omineca Ice.
Things looked dismal for the Ice during the first period with Quesnel scoring two goals within the first three minutes of the game. The first came from Paul Girodat and the second from Rigby Burgart.
The Ice answered back with a goal from Dustin Erickson after six minutes assisted by Nolan O’Brien and Justin Alessandrini.
The Ice fought hard and despite the Ice out-shooting Quesnel 20 – 9, the Roos got a third goal in the ninth minute of the period scored by Joel Boyetchko.
The second period saw a lot of action and a comeback from the Ice.
After two minutes Quesnel widened the scoring gap to 4 -1 with a goal from Elijah Hetu. Towards the end of the period however, the Ice finally got their feet with two consecutive goals from Matt Stang after 15 and 18 minutes. Thirty seconds later Derek Little of the Ice scored another assisted by Dustin Erickson, bringing the game to a 4 – 4 tie.
The Ice fought hard in the third and with 10 minutes left Dustin Erickson brought Vanderhoof in the lead with a goal assisted by Tyrell Turgeon and Cam Kilbreath.
Despite a number of shots from Quesnel in the last minutes of the period, the Ice managed to hold onto their lead thanks to some great saves by Vanderhoof goalie Paul Simoes.
Omineca Ice coach Chris Reed is extremely happy with the victory but says a couple of players did get injured.
Matt Stang received a lower body injury and Rane Marshall required the attention of a dentist after the game.
“Quesnel had more penalties than us and actually we were roughed up pretty good down there,” said Reed.
“Matt Stang played really well and got us two goals but he’s now injured,” he said.
He added that despite being short-benched the team played a good and disciplined game with 12 penalty minutes compared to 18 for Quesnel.
The Ice face two big games at home this weekend. On Saturday at 7:30 p.m. they face Quesnel again and on Sunday at 1 p.m., they face the Williams Lake Stampeders.
Reed says the Ice still stand a good chance at making it to the Coy Cup playoffs this year.
“Right now the playoff race is so tight. I think we are seventh in the league but third in our division which is where we need to be,” he said.
“It’s going to be so tight so we need every point we can get – this will be a huge weekend for us.”