The Terrace River Kings traveled to Prince Rupert for the Challenge Cup on Sept. 20 and 21, and came away without a win after being outscored 10-2 in two games.
The Kings opened the tournament against the host Prince Rupert Rampage on Friday night. The Rampage wasted no time when they took to home ice.
After a disallowed goal just 28 seconds in, captain Jared Meers picked up a loose rebound and put it into the open net past a down Garret Muir to put the Rampage up just 5:18 in. Less than a minute later, Craig Munro put another rebound through the pads to make it 2-0 Rupert. Despite chances on both sides, that would be all the scoring in the first.
The early second featured back-and-forth play, with the only goal coming with 9:42 on the clock as Kory Movold dropped the puck for Meers who wristed it ove the glove of Muir.
Terrace had plenty of opportunities in the frame, but Warren Hanson seemed unbeatable in the Rupert net to the delight of the fans, and the period ended 3-0 for the Rampage.
The River Kings finally got on the board in the third when captain Steve Cullis put a slapshot five hole 6:25 into the period, but it was too little too late. Joey Hidber’s shot from the blue line found the back of the net with 5:11 to play, and Gavin Harburn put one past a downed Muir with 4:20 to play to give the Rampage the 5-1 win.
On Saturday, playing in the consolation game, the River Kings fell to the Ice Demons in a game that included 130 minutes in penalties. Ben Rumley opened the scoring just 2:14 into the game, though the Kings Chris Brown put one past Tom Mildenberger less than three minutes later to tie things up.
But from there the Demons would shut down the Terrace offence. Kyle Boudreautt deked out Dawson Kluss and found the back of the net with 6:26 to play to pull Kitimat ahead, and with just one second left on the clock Joel Findlay put home a breakaway glove-side wrister to put the Demons up 3-1.
The second saw plenty of penalties and no scoring, but the Demons put the game out of reach early in the third when Ian Coleman put away a glove-side backhander with 16:20 on the clock and, less than a minute later, Wade Masch found a loose puck in front and put it past Kluss to give Kitimat the 5-1 win.
“Tough losses but as they play together more and learn to stay out of the box things will improve,” said River Kings general manager Ray Hallock.
The defending CIHL champions the Smithers Steelheads ultimately took the top spot in the tournament with their win against the Rampage.
And the Kings will face off against the Demons again, when Kitimat hosts them for the season opener Oct. 5. Terrace’s home opening weekend will be against Williams Lake at the Sportsplex Oct. 12 and 13.
With files from Anna Killen.