REPORTING · 20th December 2010
It was almost a symptom of a disease; taking time to challenge the ref on his decisions rather than accepting and moving forward. Three Terrace Riverkings spent a total of 30 minutes in the penalty box in two of the losses this past weekend. Toby Mitchell, Josh Murray and Captain Steve Cullis each had a ten minute turn to cool their jets. These three however were not alone. They and their teammates had the distinction of racking up more than twice as many penalty minutes as did the Prince Rupert Rampage, who took the Friday night game in Rupert by a score of 5 to 3. In Kitimat the Riverkings were just shy of doubling the Ice Demons in penalty minutes also dropping the game in a 5 to 2 loss.
Prince Rupert has yet to lose on home ice. The Jim Ciccione Arena appears to have a dome of safety over it this year. The game started out evenly matched as the first period ended in a tie with the rough play attracting an even amount of penalties which included a pair of altercations at the mid point in the period. The second period was all Terrace however as they took every penalty issued yet added another two goals to the total; going to the dressing room up 3 to 2. The Rampage reversed the roles in the third and added three unanswered goals, the final an empty netter. This put the Rampage into the clear lead in the CIHL west with 16 points.
The Kitimat Ice Demons took the next two points away from Terrace the following night during the Ice Demons Home special “Fill the Rink” night. An estimated 1100 fans from Terrace and Kitimat filled the Tamitik (Kitimat spelled backward) Arena in a show of Christmas support, not just for the Demons but also for the community.
This game was the typical aggressive affair between these two rivals as a total of nine roughing calls were made. Half of the total of Riverkings penalty minutes were called on the Kings Captain Cullis and Josh Murray with their respective challenges to the officiating. If it weren’t for these twenty minutes the total time would be almost equal.
The game was tight and could have gone either way through most of the first two periods. Kitimat went to the dressing rooms after the first period up 2 to 1 after a late goal in the final seconds. The second period saw even more tight play with only one goal by Kitimat sending them to the dressing room again on an upswing. That was quickly tempered six seconds into the opening of the third as Terrace tightened the game up again 3 to 2. That was the last chance for Terrace to see a ray of hope however as the Demons hammered two more between the posts to a thrilled packed hometown crowd securing the win 5 to 2.
This puts the point totals between the three top contenders for the CIHL West division at 16 – 14 – 12; for the Rampage, the Ice Demons and the Riverkings respectively. The Ice Demons and the Riverkings meet again next weekend in Terrace to see if they remain tied at second position or if Kitimat moves up another two to tie Rupert for the top spot.