CONTRIBUTION · 27th September 2010
The Prince Rupert Rampage won the Kitimat Ice Demons-sponsored Northern Challenege Cup on home ice on Sunday after two wins – a close 2-1 win over the Ice Demons Friday night and an even closer 2-1 win over the Smithers Steelheads, in a shootout, in the final game.
The Ice Demons lost both games in the week-end tournament, losing 4-1 Saturday night to the renewed Smithers Steelheads. In game one, Rob Millar scored the first goal of the CIHL exhibition season to give the Rampage a one-goal lead in the first period, but that was wiped out following a bout of giveaways in front of Rampage goalie Keith Movald and eventually Ian Coleman pushed the puck into the back of the net to tie the game in the third period.
Rob Millar got his second goal of the game, and showed he could be on a goal tear this year. Despite high pressure by the Demons, Movald didn't allow the puck behind him again and the time ran out of the Demons' efforts to tie the game for overtime.
The Ice Demons fell behind 2-0 in the first period as a confident Steelheads pushed them hard and got goals from Deven Hayhurst and a power-play goal by Spencer Brooks. Adam devries got a goal for Smithers in the third and Wade Masch, former Kitimat Midget player, got his first for the Demons who trailed 3-1 at the end of the second period. The Ice Demons weren't able to launch the usual expected strenuous push-back and Deven Booth added a goal for Smithers in the third for a 4-1 win.
In the final game the Steelheads and the Rampage sustained a great pace and were tied at 1-1 following three periods of exciting hockey. The Rampage had carried a 1-0 lead from the first period till late in the third, when Smithers pulled their goaltender and the extra man, helped enough to get the tying marker.
The teams went into four-on-four overtime for five minutes, which solved nothing and the Rampage delighted their fans by winning the shootout, outscoring the Steelheads 2-0 for a very deserved 2-1 SO win.
The Northern Challenge Cup
The Northern Challenge Cup was presented to goaltender Dan Lorette by Rick Taylor, head trainer for the Demons, who stayed on with assistant trainer, Cory Eisenberger, to represent the Ice Demons and award the trophy.
The Northern Challenge Cup was introduced by the Ice Demons in its second year in 2003 to add interest to the exhibition season. It was won by the visiting Trail Smoke Eaters in that first competition.
It has since been won by the Demons four times, and the Smithers Steelheads, once... and now by the Rampage. The Rampage had great crowds for the series and put on a great week-end tournament.
On to the regular season, starting Oct 2 at Tamitik versus the Rampage
Bearing in mind these were exhibition games, the Ice Demons are not taking any panic action after going winless and we will see what the team can do in the regular season opener in Tamitik arena, starting with a puck drop at 8.00 p.m. Saturday night, Oct. 2.
The Ice Demons lineup will not be known in full until Friday, but its expected that most of the core Demons' players from last season will be on the ice, along with newcomers like Wade Masch and a returning Robbie Lafferty, on defence.
The successful hosts, the Prince Rupert Rampage enjoy winning the Northern Challenge Cup, defeating the Kitimat Ice Demons and the Smithers Steelheads, in a shootout.