It was a first-ever for the Terrace River Kings Saturday night, as the team swept the Kitimat Ice Demons out of the CIHL playoffs in game two of round one.
Playing before 1,000 people in Kitimat, Terrace showed up to play a hard-fought match, which ended with a 4-1 finish for the Kings over its longstanding rival, the Ice Demons.
“They guys played fast, hard, they wanted to win,” said general manager of the River Kings Ray Hallock.
The first goal of the evening came from David Tooms, who put one in the net just under the nine minute mark of the first period. Next, Steve Cullis seriously upped the Kings’ advantage by scoring three minutes into the second period and once again in the third, bringing the teams into the final period with 3 – 0 on the scoreboard.
“The first couple of periods were fairly close, kind of back and forth, and then in the third they (the Ice Demons) kind of took it to us hard,” Cullis said, noting that regardless of the score, play between the teams was very close throughout the match.
And despite heavy shots on Patrick Leal, who had a strong performance in net for Terrace, Kitimat managed to answer back only once, when Jonathan Aikens scored in the third period.
Tristan Murray capped things off for the Kings with an empty-net goal with less than two minutes on the clock.
The River Kings will now advance in the playoffs where they will meet up with the undefeated Smithers Steelheads in Game One this weekend.
Hallock said the inability to beat rivals Kitimat in the past has been holding the team back for years, and with these two recent wins, the Kings are ready to take on the rest of the playoffs.
“No one can underestimate the power of high morale,” said Hallock.
Cullis agreed the team is confident going into the next round of playoffs.
“We have to play a strong game against them (the Steelheads) ,” said Cullis. “We have to bring our best and hope things go our way,” he added, noting that games between the two teams have been close throughout the past season.