By Shaun Thomas - The Northern View
Published: November 17, 2009 11:00 PM
The Prince Rupert Rampage played host to the eastern conference leading Burns Lake Braves this weekend, and came away with a win and a loss for their efforts.
While eight minutes went by without a goal, the score quickly added up with three goals in less than two minutes after that. Kendall Stace-Smith opened the scoring for the Rampage with 12 minutes to go, but the Bravesí Steve Wilejto responded just 51 seconds later, beating netminder Keith Movold, to tie things up. But the Rampage regained their momentum just 25 seconds later at 10:55 as Chris Brlecic put home a shot from Rob Millar that had hit the post. Wilejto scored his second of the night with 5:43 to play to tie things up at two and, following a scrum that included all of the players on the ice partnering up with an opposing player, the first period ended 2-2.
Halfway through the second the Rampage really opened up the game as Jeremy Boot created a turnover in the offensive zone and beat goaltender Wes Hart at 10:25, Rob Millarís backhand through a screen went five-hole just over a minute later and Brlecic netted his second of the night on a 5-on-3 powerplay with a blast from just inside the blue line. With a 5-on-3 of their own, the Bravesí Dave Wilejto put home a backhand from the side of the net to pull the team to within two, but that would be as close as they would get. Brett Stava would help the Rampage pull away with two successive goals with 1:50 and 1:35 to play as the Rampage led 7-3 heading into the final frame.
In the third Abel Verde scored with 8:57 to go, and Jared Meers tipped home a shot with just 26.4 seconds to play to give Rupert the 9-3 win.
The two teams will meet again tomorrow afternoon, with the puck dropping at one p.m.
On Sunday Prince Rupert controlled much of the play in the first, but Wes Hart was equal to the task and stopped some great opportunities while Warren Hansen held up his end of things for the Rampage resulting in a scoreless first period.
A scrum in the second period, which saw each of the players partner off with an opponent, resulted in five Rampage players and four Braves players in the box, with a Braves penalty just seconds later bringing it to an even 10 players in the box. And it would be Steve Wilejto of the Braves who opened the scoring at 10:11 with a blast from the point, followed by Brent Petersen giving the Braves a 2-0 lead with a shot that just trickled through the legs of Hansen. Kendall Stace-Smithís wrap-around at 4:19 tied things up with 4:19 to play, but 65 seconds later Wilejto cut across the crease and found the back of the net to give the Braves a 3-1 lead heading into the third.
In the third Jesse Lennon pulled the Rampage within one with a shot from the point that got by Hart, but a powerplay goal by Brad Blackwell at 6:16 sealed the 4-2 victory for the Braves.
The split, coupled with two wins by the Smithers Steelheads against the Terrace River Kings, puts the Rampage into third place in the western conference with 11 points. Thatís just one point behind the Steelheads, who have played three fewer games than the Rampage, and four points ahead of the Hazelton Wolverines, who have played one more game than Prince Rupert.
That leaves the Terrace River Kings, who the Rampage will play this Saturday at eight p.m., last in the west with just five points. The last time these two teams played, a shootout was required to determine the winner.