The Terrace River Kings had a bumpy start to their Central Hockey League campaign but overcame last weekend with a win Sunday.
The River Kings faced off against the Williams Lake Stampeders Saturday, who stormed the ice and scored nine unanswered goals to lead in the first period. The Kings hammered back four goals in the second, going into the final period 13-4.
“We were short players and we did come out slow, so we didn’t help our goalie much,” said Ross Smith, River Kings general manager. Usually, the Kings play with 17 teammates, but only had 13 going to Williams Lake.
“They just basically scored at will in the first period there. But we came back and it was an even game after that.”
The Kings added two more in the third but ultimately lost 16-6 at the end.
Brandon Orstein and Connor Onstein were both close to getting hat tricks for the Kings, with Colten Braid and Hunter Johnson each adding single scores to the board.
Sunday was a much different game when the Quesnel Kangaroos hosted the River Kings the next day.
“They were ready to play and it showed when we started,” Smith said. “We had a new goalie and we had one more player, Braiden Epp, who joined us from Prince George.”
The Kangaroos had the first goal but Connor Onstein launched the puck between the posts to answer on a power play, with Colin Bell adding another point to lead. At the end of the first, the Roos snuck in another goal to tie it up going into the second.
The Kings ramped up their efforts with three goals to Quesnel’s two, carrying a one-point lead into the third period. By that time, Quesnel had racked up eight penalties.
“Quesnel got into some penalty troubles and we capitalized on the power plays,” Smith said. “They’re a rough team and we just capitalized off them – we’re young and fast, and we can move the puck.”
In the third, the Kings solidified their first win of the season with two unanswered goals as Branden Onstein and Colin Bell led the team to a 7-4 victory.
The Kings now hold a 1-2 record and will bring it back to Terrace for three home games, facing Williams Lake again on Sunday for a chance to even up the score. Then they host the Prince Rupert Rampage on Oct. 26 before playing their first game against the Kitimat Ice Demons Nov. 3.