The Kitimat Ice Demons prevailed on home ice over the Terrace River Kings, 6-3 in their CIHL season opener.
The Ice Demons took a 1-0 lead on the first shot of the game, just 43 seconds in, a drive from the top of the left circle by centre Josh Slanina (Jeff Mildenberger, Jordan Goncalves) that beat Terrace starting goaltender Patrick Leal cleanly.
The River Kings had much of the offensive play in period one, but could not put a shot past veteran Demons goaltender, Brett Vilness, who earned star of the game.
While outshooting the Demons 12-8 in the period, Terrace could not get a goal, and the Demons took a two goal lead into the change room on a short-handed goal scored by Derek DeLisser (Derek Wakita) with just 1.10 left in the period. The Ice Demons managed to keep Terrace off the score sheet until early in the second, when Josh Murray beat Vilness off the post, assisted by Jeremy Vandenbroek and Rajan Sangha.
This made the score 2-1 and Terrace kept up the pressure until Derek DeLisser again abruptly turned the tide with a super goal, to make it 3-1 (assisted by Josh Slanina and Ben Rumley).
Just a minute and two seconds later, Derek Wakita finished off a play from Ian Coleman and Blaine Markwart that took a lot of the momentum drive out of the River Kings’ offence.
But they were still alive three minutes after the Wakita goal when Jeremy Vandenbroek converted a pass from newcomer Cory Dekelver to bring Terrace back to 4-2 at the second intermission. Shots in the period were Demons 11, Terrace 13.
The Ice Demons outshot Terrace 14 to 10 in the third period, adding goals by Jordan Goncalves (Ben Rumley) and Ben Rumley finished Demons’ scoring, with assists to Josh Slanina and Derek DeLisser.
This was not the usual Terrace-Kitimat roughhouse barnburner, with Terrace taking only two minor penalties in the game and the Demons giving the River Kings only five opportunities on the power play.
The Kings capitalized late in the third period, when captain Steve Cullis slid a Tristan Murray rebound behind Vilness with just over four minutes remaining.
The Kings take on Williams Lake this weekend, Saturday night, and Sunday afternoon at the Terrace Sportsplex.