Terrace River Kings forward Connor Beauchemin skates in to score on Williams Lake Stampeders goaltender Zach Straza en route to a 9-3 victory. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Terrace River Kings forward Connor Beauchemin skates in to score on Williams Lake Stampeders goaltender Zach Straza en route to a 9-3 victory. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

River Kings dethrone Rampage to reclaim first place in CIHL standings

Terrace is heading to Rupert rivals Jan. 31 in what will be a pivotal match for first place

The River Kings are leading the CIHL scoreboard once more following a match against the Smithers Steelheads in a series of away games.

The CIHL leaders previously gave up their hold on first place during the Jan. 18 weekend as Rupert and Terrace each faced off in a double header against the Quesnel Roos and Williams Lake Stampeders.

On Saturday, Jan. 25 the River Kings travelled upstream to the Steelheads, beating them 6-5.

Terrace opened up the score early on in the period with a goal from Sam Reinbolt, only to have Smithers’ player Brendan Moore answer less than a minute later.

Halfway through the first, another pair of goals were added to the scoreboard seconds apart, first by River Kings’ Connor Beauchemin with another quick response from Steelheads’ Ethan Tucker. It was Luke Gordon who would end the period giving the visitors a 3-2 lead.

Another goal and response came thirty seconds apart, in the first two minutes of the second period. This time it was Smithers that would initiate the scoring as Calvin Johnson filled the net at 1:18, only to have Carson Olson cancel out his goal at 1:48.

The second period would end just as the first, with Terrace up by one, after River Kings Skylar Andrews and Smithers Steelheads Calvin Johnson each scored.

Brendan Moore tied the game up for Smithers at 2:37 in the third but Ben Reinbolt secured the win for the River Kings on a power play with four minutes left in the game.

READ MORE: First game of 2020 banked another win for Kings

Terrace goes 1-1 in Cariboo country

Saturday’s win was much needed for the River Kings who previously fell to the Rampage in the CIHL standings, after both teams travelled to the Cariboo region to face off against the Kangaroos and Stampeders.

The Rampage took home a pair of victories against the eastern teams, placing them first in the league, while the River Kings came back with a win and a loss.

On Saturday, Jan. 18, the Roos and the River Kings came out firing.

Terrace opened the scoring with a powerplay goal by Gianni Carmano four minutes in the first period, but it didn’t take long for the Roos response.

The home team took control of the offensive ice, as Eric Galbraith scored halfway through the first and Dominic Tomassetti followed with another goal for the River Kings minutes after.

The Roos had their foot on the pedal in the second period, and all Terrace could do was buckle up and watch the game from the passenger seat, as the home team scored five unanswered goals. Cam Graham scored once, while Lane Vandewetering and Galbraith each netted a pair, earning Galbraith a hat trick.

The River Kings were able to add two goals to the scoresheet in the third, as Mason Richey scored at 13 minutes and Gianni Carmano took advantage of a power play with three minutes left in the period, but the effort would be in vain. Roos’ player Payton Schaefer added the cherry on top to Quesnel’s 8-3 victory, calling into question who the real kings were on Saturday.

Sunday, the River Kings jumped out to an early 2-0 lead and never looked back in the 9-3 win over Williams Lake.

The game was decided by the end of the first period, following six goals from the visitors and one from the Stampeders.

Connor Beauchemin and Sam Reinbolt were taking names, as they each scored a hat trick during the match. Kyler Braid, Tye Moses and Hunter Jonson each added their name to the score sheet for the Kings.

Scoring for Williams Lake on Sunday were Wilfred Robbins, with two, and Justin Bond.

The Terrace River Kings will be heading to Rupert to face their biggest rivals on Jan. 31 in what will be a pivotal match for first place in the league. On Feb. 1 both teams will simultaneously close out their seasons with home games as Terrace faces off against the Steelheads and the Rampage face the Hazelton Wolverines.

READ MORE: Terrace Kermode Rotary hockey team takes gold at home tournament

with files from Sasha Sefter, Quesnel Cariboo Observer


Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
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