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REPORTING · 19th January 2010
Allan Hewitson
Ice Demons dominate in Wolverines’ Trombley arena, shellacking short-handed Hazelton team by score of 7-1

The Kitimat Ice Demons put on an offensive and defensive clinic in the tight confines of the Claude Trombley Arena in Hazelton, Saturday, as they started their quest for another successive CIHL playoff championship with a workmanlike road in, 7-1 against the listless Hazelton Wolverines, in game one of the playoffs.

Demons had enough goals in the first to win, from Daniel Mayer (Jeremy Brady, Ian Coleman), Jeff Baker (Brady and Coleman) and Geoff Morgan (Dave Venman) as they dominated from the puck drop, out-shooting the Wolverines, who iced only 17 players, including goalie back-up Cody Smith) by 66-26.

Goaltender Cory Croft had an outstanding night, even giving up seven goals, while at the Demons’ end, Brett Vilness had a quiet night, but was in good form with some good saves, especially in the first and third, when Wolverines got a couple of gift own-end give-aways from Demons defense, minus Jeff Mildenberger.

Refereeing was just OK as Chris Daniels let a lot of plays go, but record keeping was poor, as the score sheet showed several errors, including two goals scored by unlisted player numbers.

The two teams exchanged goals in the second period, where Croft faced a virtual shooting gallery and stood on his head. League scoring leader Curtis Cardinal, (Bruce Wilson) who was kept well in check most of the night by Dave Venman and Jeff Baker, got out of the corner unmolested, and slid a puck behind Vilness at a sharp angle.

Demons’ captain Derek Wakita restored the three goal lead 10 minutes later, assisted by Terry Whelan and Blaine Markwart.

In the third the Demons added goals by Venman (Markwart, Wakita), Jeff Baker, (Jonnie Aiken) with a blisterer from the point that skittered through Croft’s legs in the crease and a highlight reel end o ender by Terry Helgason who just wristed it behind Croft, with just 18 seconds left in the game, as the Demons were just letting the clock run down.

Demons earned eight minutes in penalties from four minors and the Wolverines had 10 minutes, from five minors.

In other games, the playoffs were unwinding much as expected, with the only surprise being the Williams Lake Stampeders coming up so big in Burns Lake with a 9-5 win over the Braves in game one of their playoff series.

The East Division winners, the Houston Luckies took it to the Omineca Ice in their own rink, winning 12-1, while the Smithers Steelheads, in Prince Rupert, found the Rampage feisty, but still went home with a 5-3 victory. The Steelheads spread out their scoring, with Dennis Olson scoring in the first and J. Boot answering for the Rampage. But Matt Arnold, with an unassisted goal helped the Steelies to a 2-1 first period lead. A power-play goal by Darryl Young, 24 seconds into the second period, put the Rampage behind the eight ball, then Stu Barnes added one within a minute and the Rampage were down three.

Dan Dykens got another for the Steelheads, while Rob Millar had two in the losing cause for the Rampage, both assisted by Colt Stava.