The Terrace River Kings triumphed twice last weekend, beating Kitimat 6-3 here on Friday, and then conquering Prince Rupert Rampage in overtime 5-4 on Saturday.
Facing Kitimat at the Terrace Sportsplex on Friday, the River Kings hit the ice strong.
Team captain Steve Cullis and William Orrey each scored one in the first period and Chapen Leblond scored midway through the second to put them at a 3-0 lead.
Kitimat scored shortly after that in the second period to put the score 3-1.
Players fought hard as the game continued, but the puck didn’t find the net through the rest of the second period.
Launching into the third period, Ben Reinbolt netted an early goal at just 21 seconds, establishing an even stronger 4-1 lead for the River Kings.
Kitimat responded two minutes later with a goal of their own, but the River Kings did not let up. They landed two more goals, scored by Colten Braid and Luke Gordon, to climb to a 6-2 lead as the clock ticked into the final minutes.
Kitimat squeezed in a final goal with one minute left, and the game concluded at 6-3 for the River Kings.
Coach Derek Jurista said the team “came out well… and stuck to the game plan all the way through.”
“Scoring six goals is big… our offence is doing well,” he said. “We are getting lots of chances and are getting scoring from a lot of guys. Our big line with Ben Reinbolt, Steve Cullis and Luke Walker has been doing really well for us.”
Jurista said that even with the victory, he did feel the team could have played stronger.
“I feel like we didn’t play all of 60 minutes. We took shifts off,” he said.
On Saturday, the River Kings faced Prince Rupert, coming back from a rough first period to triumph 5-4 in overtime.
Prince Rupert came out strong in the first period, claiming a 3-0 lead in the first 12 minutes of play.
But the River Kings did not give in.
They hit the ice with determination in the second, netting two goals in the first five minutes. Both those goals were landed by Luke Walker, the first one on a power play.
Prince Rupert responded with another goal just 20 seconds later, making the score 4-2 for the Rampage.
Teams fought hard back and forth, until the River Kings took another power play midway through the second. Ben Reinbolt landed a shot to close the gap to 4-3, but the defence and netminders held off the attacks for the rest of the period.
Keeping to the pattern of early period action, Tristan Murray buried the puck in the first minute of the third, tying the game at 4-4.
Players battled on throughout the rest of the third, fending off attacks until the period ended.
“It’s probably the best two periods we’ve played all season,” said Jurista.
“Every line was contributing. Pucks got in, pucks got deep. We were winning battles… I think they just decided it was time to go. They knew what they had to do and they just came out and executed very well.”
The first overtime had players fighting hard back and forth, but again, no goals were scored. Prince Rupert took a penalty at the tail end, which carried over into the second overtime.
Driving hard on the power play, Chapen Leblond took a pass from Reinbolt behind the net less than a minute in.
He swung it around from the back door, burying it in the net to earn the River Kings a 5-4 victory.
The weekend put the River Kings kept the River Kings fourth in the league standings, with a 3-2-2 record and eight points.
Williams Lake and Smithers are leading the league at 12 points each, and Prince Rupert is third at nine points.
Behind Terrace, is Quesnel with seven points and Kitimat with six points.
The River Kings play a rematch against the Ice Demons on Friday, Nov. 25, in Kitimat.
Saturday, Nov. 26, they play another home game, this time against the Smithers Steelheads.
Jurista says the key will be for players to be disciplined, stay out of the penalty box, and score of their chances.
Besides that he hopes the victories from last weekend propel the River Kings forward.
“Smithers is a skilled team. They’re always good competition,” Jurista said, adding that it will be a good game.