The Prince Rupert Rampage set the tone for what they hope will be a strong campaign this season, beating the Kitimat Ice Demons 5-1 on the road on Sept. 29.
“It’s definitely a good start for us,” said Rampage coach Roger Atchison. “I thought our team played pretty well considering how early it was in the season.”
The Rampage took an early, two-goal lead in the first period behind scores from Brady Ward and Cole Atchison. The team’s improved defense and quality play in goal by Keanu Wilson also held the Ice Demons scoreless in the period.
“Keanu was definitely our defensive star,” Atchison said. “Without him making some key saves it definitely could have gone a different way. He was outstanding.”
The Rampage extended their lead to three goals in the second period after Jordan Aubee found the net off assists from Jean-Luc Fournier and Judd Repole.
Taylor Mallett responded with 10:37 to go in the period with an unassisted goal to bring the game to a manageable 3-1 deficit.
The Rampage responded, however, as Jacob Santurbano scored with 1:50 left in the period to extend the team’s lead to 4-1 going into the final period.
Unlike last year’s opening game — where the Rampage squandered a late, two-goal lead to lose the game — the Rampage put on a defensive clinic in the third, holding the Ice Demons scoreless. Cole Atchison put the final touches on the game, scoring an unassisted goal with 9:59 left to seal the victory for the Rampage.
“Our group has been together for a little bit now, and the guys just battled hard and closed the game out,” Atchison said.
The win puts the Rampage at 1-0 for the season, they next play in Terrace against the River Kings on Oct. 5 before returning to the Civic Centre Arena for their home opener against the Kitimat Ice Demons on Oct. 6.
“Terrace will be a tough battle. We always seem to have intense games against them so next week I’m expecting no different,” said Atchison
Brady Ward (Goals: 1, Assists: 0)
Cole Atchison (Goals: 2, Assists: 1)
Jordan Aubee (Goals: 1, Assists: 0)
Jacob Santurbano (Goals: 1, Assists: 0)
Judd Repole (Goals: 0, Assists: 3)
Tyler Ostrom (Goals: 0, Assists: 1)
Jared Meers (Goals: 0, Assists: 1)
Cody Cringan (Goals: 0, Assists: 1)
Jean Luc Fornier (Goals, Assists:1)
More to follow