The Prince Rupert Rampage are continuing to establish themselves as the team to beat in the CIHL this season.
The team extended its winning streak to four games following a 9-2 victory over the Quesnel Kangaroos at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre Arena on Oct. 20.
“It was a great victory at home, it’s always nice to entertain the crowd,” said head coach Roger Atchison. “It think we had a good performance by a lot of guys and our D corps was pretty solid.”
The game was bruising and physical from the moment the puck dropped in the first period. The Kangaroos entered the game with a 1-2 record and were looking to turn their fortunes around against the Rampage, who are both undefeated and held a winning record against Quesnel last year.
The Kangaroos were able to put the first points on the board after Adam Chapman beat Rampage net minder Dave Wood off assists from Chad Kimmie and Justin Fulton 46 seconds into the game.
The Rampage responded soon after, however, raising their level of physicality to match that of their opponents in the first period. Marcus Atchison scored the team’s first goal at the 9:31 mark on a Prince Rupert power play after being set up by Judd Repole and Kory Movold.
Atchison’s score was the first of four straight goals by the Rampage that put them in firm control of the game. Judd Repole scored two goals in the middle period off of a pair of assists from Jean-Luc Fournier and Cole Atchison, and Jacob Santurbano added another to give the Rampage a 4-1 cushion.
Both teams continued their physical play in the second period, wracking up a combined 12 minutes in the penalty box. The Rampage scored the period’s lone goal, set up by a beautiful through-pass from the neutral zone from Jean-Luc Fournier to Jared Carter on a fast break. Carter immediately touched-passed the puck to Cole Atchison, whose slap shot beat Quesnel goal tender Reign Turley to extend the Rampage lead.
“That was a nice bang-bang play,” said Roger Atchison. “We’d just killed a couple of penalties there, and instead of it being a 4-2 game it put us up 5-1.”
With a comfortable cushion going into the third, the Rampage were able to utilize their speed which, combined with four more Quesnel penalties, helped them score four more goals to secure the dominant win.
Next week, the Rampage are on the road where they will play the Terrace River Kings on Oct. 26 and the Kitimat Ice Demons on Oct. 27. Atchison expects both opponents to be hungry to give the Rampage their first loss of the season.
“They’re going to throw everything they can at us,” he said. “We have to ride this momentum that we have, we have to play hard every shift, but I think the guys are ready.
“It’s nice to be on a little role like this and hopefully we can keep it going.”