Prince Rupert Rampage edge Nechako North Stars

·3 min read

The Rampage dug deep to edge out a win against the Nechako North Stars 5-4, at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre, on Oct. 30.

The home team came out swinging with an early goal in period one to give them first blood in the heated match. However, celebrations were short — as not 10 seconds later, the visitors levelled the score one-a-piece.

Both teams remained in a deadlock through the rest of the period going into the second.

Momentum shifted to the Nechako North Stars early in the second with a power-play goal not two minutes into the period.

Both teams looked evenly matched, each probing and trying to cut through the other’s defences. Tensions flared between the teams’ players as the intensity of the game increased.

A fight broke out on the ice as one North Star player took insult to a Rampage player knocking away his dropped hockey stick. The conflict spilled into the Rampage’s bench with the Nechako player perusing his counterpart off the ice. Officials and players rushed in to deescalate the situation.

However, as the clock neared zero in the second period, the Rampage managed to slip one past their opponent’s goaltender to go into the third period tied 2-2.

More goals were scored in the last 20 minutes than the first 40, with both teams going at each other a tit-for-tat.

“Everybody was on pins and needles,” Ron German, Rampage general manager, told The Northern View.

The North Stars pulled out in front 3-2 early in the period with a second goal from Ethan-Jett Saharchuk. On the back foot, the Rampage upped the intensity even further with fast and focused attacking play, which was awarded a goal for tying it back up again 3-3.

The North Stars responded to their host’s second wind by scoring a fourth goal to snatch back the lead.

Undeterred, the Rampage honed their game further and made a final comeback, scoring two more to go up 5-4.

The North Stars did not give their opponents any time to breathe through the final minutes. Pulling their goaltender, the visitors pressed the Rampage until the final second of the game, but to no avail as the final whistle blew.

The general manager praised his goaltender’s performance in the hard-fought win.

“Kieran [Sharpe] stood on his head for us and made some key saves when he had to,” German said.

Both teams were back-and-forth. In the end, it came down to whoever made the least mistakes, German said.

At the final whistle, German believes the Rampage were able to dig just that much deeper than their opponents to walk out with the win.

The Rampage will now start a two-week, three-game, away tour starting against the Kitimat Ice Demons on Nov. 6, where they will be hoping to get revenge for their home-opener defeat.

Norman Galimski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Rupert Northern View

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