The Williams Lake Stampeders will be in desperation mode this weekend when they host the Quesnel Kangaroos in the Central Interior Hockey League East Division Final.
Up 5-1 in the second period, the Stampeders lost a come-from-behind 6-5 road outing in Quesnel in game one of the best-of-three series.
The Kangaroos’ Josh McDonald sent the hometown crowd of roughly 600 fans home happy with just three minutes left in the third period, slipping one past Stampeders’ netminder Justin Foote to seal the victory.
The Stampeders weren’t able to convert on the power play going zero for six in the contest.
Quesnel’s Tyrell Turgeon opened the scoring midway through the first frame, before Dylan Richardson and David Gore gave Williams Lake a 2-1 lead heading into the second.
Williams Lake continued to rally as Dan Cohen, Kurtis Bond and Jassi Sangha found the twine on Quesnel goaltender Ryan Manderson to bolster the Stamps to a 5-1 lead.
From there, however, Manderson shut the door while Coltin De Frais, Alessio Tomassetti, Joey MacDonald, Paul Girodat (shorthanded) and McDonald tallied in the winning effort.
Game two of the East Division Final goes Saturday, Feb. 7, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Cariboo Memorial Complex.
Should the Stampeders win game three takes place Sunday, Feb. 8, at 1:30 p.m.
In other CIHL news the Smithers Steelheads edged the Terrace River Kings 5-4 in game one of the West Division Final.
The winner of both series will square off in the CIHL final later this month.