River Kings take CIHL championship

Terrace River Kings beat Williams Lake in a barn burner 4-3 OT win on Sunday

The Terrace River Kings are the 2015 Central Interior Hockey League champions – and the team is now focussed on winning the Coy Cup at the end of March.

After a 3-2 defeat in front of a packed house at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex Saturday in Williams Lake – game two of the best of three series against defending CIHL champions the Williams Lake Stampeders – Terrace rallied back to capture a 4-3 overtime win in a barn burner Sunday, claiming the CIHL playoff title.

Chapen Leblond and Steve Cullis gave the River Kings a 2-0 lead after one period of play, before Williams Lake’s Jassi Sangha put the Stamps on the board six-and-a-half minutes into the second frame.

Leblond added his second of the contest four minutes later, before Stampeders’ captain Aaron Zurak cut the Williams Lake deficit to 3-2 heading into the third.

There, Williams Lake defenceman Dan Cohen fired a blast from just outside the left-wing faceoff circle to fool River Kings’ netminder Patrick Leal to send the contest to overtime.

A disallowed Terrace goal provided some controversy later in the frame, before sudden death overtime saw Tristan Murray bang one past Stampeders’ goaltender Justin Foote near the five-minute mark during a scramble in front of the net to seal the deal.

Adding to the drama, prior to the game-winning goal, Stampeder Dylan Richardson came up short on a penalty shot attempt.

The River Kings are now set on winning the Coy Cup – to be held this year in Fort Nelson.

And they might see themselves up against the Stamps once again. The Stampeders are trying to figure out the logistics of the possibility of playing a challenge game with the Powell River Regals to decide who will attend this year’s Coy Cup in Fort Nelson.

With files from Greg Sabatino, Williams Lake Tribune

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