The Prince Rupert Rampage were eliminated from contention by the Terrace River Kings in a tense Sunday afternoon battle. Terrace got off to a quick start, just as Prince Rupert had done the night before, as Steve Cullis buried one past Rampage goalie David Woods just 28 seconds into the game.
“We were just on our heels, they were playing hard right off the bat and they got us, ” Rampage head coach Roger Atchison said.
Terrace added another a few minutes later to extend the lead to two until Judd Repole scored a highlight reel goal snaking his way through defenders cutting across the crease and burying it home before flying over the goalie and into the net himself.
From there, the game was back and forth throughout the second period with the bitter rivals trading chances and big hits. This led to a 3-3 tie heading into the third period.
But that is when the River Kings pulled away scoring two quick goals that dashed Prince Rupert’s championship aspirations.
“When they got the first one there, I was like ‘OK’, but the second one coming that quickly was pretty deflating,” Atchison said.
That is when things got heated.
The game was over, the final score 6-3 in favour of the River Kings, but a season’s worth of tension had boiled over, as Prince Rupert player Cole Morris sparked an all-out brawl between the two teams as benches cleared and three separate scraps broke out as fans had already started heading for the door.
The bizarre scene was capped off when the teams had to compose themselves long enough to go through the customary handshake line, the veil of pleasantry didn’t last long though, as more yelling and screaming took place between the teams.
Head coach Roger Atchison was right in the middle of it all.
“There’s no real love lost between these two teams, it’s what happens once in a while, you don’t want to see it but it happens, “Atchison said.
The season that started so promising just a few months ago has spiralled down, ending in heartbreak for Rampage fans, coaches, and players alike. When asked about the season’s rough ending a clearly emotional Atchison didn’t mince his words.
“It’s over. It’s done. They got our number when it comes down to big games I guess. We have to regroup and see what happens,” Atchison said.
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Nick Laws | Sports reporter
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