Skip to content

Terrace River Kings head to CIHL finals after nail-biting win over Hazelton

River Kings to face Quesnel Kangaroos at game 1 in Terrace on Saturday

The Terrace River Kings have taken the west CIHL division, defeating Hazelton Wolverines in a three-game game series.

Forward Ryan Roseboom scored in double overtime Feb. 26, clinching a 7 - 6 win in a dramatic final game.

The River Kings won the first game Feb. 24 and then fell to Hazelton in the second game Feb. 25, setting the stage for Game 3. The River Kings now advance to the CIHL finals against the Quesnel Kangaroos with game 1 in Terrace on Saturday March 4. The winner then advances to the Coy Cup, March 28 to April 1 in Quesnel.

The River Kings won both of their games against the Smithers Steelheads by a comfortable margin to then face Hazelton, going into the playoffs second in their division with a 9-4-0-3 record and faced the Steelheads, who were fourth in their division with a 7-8-0-1 record.

The River Kings hit the ground running in their first playoff game on Feb. 17. In Game 1, the River Kings jumped into a 2-0 lead and never looked back, finishing off the home team 8-3 after 30 minutes.

Game 2 in Terrace was more of the same with the home team scoring first at 12:31 of the opening frame. While Levi Olson was able to tie it for Smithers 29 seconds later, it was all Terrace from that point on as the River Kings added six unanswered goals for a 7 - 1 final.

The Hazelton Wolverines, meanwhile, had to first knockoff the Kitimat Ice Demons in a wildcard game Feb. 11. They did that easily, doubling up the Demons 12 - 6.

With a valiant year under their belts, going 12-4-0-0, the Prince Rupert Rampage were the odds-on favourites to win the west going into Hazelton on Friday. But the Wolverines had something else in mind.

On home ice, they took a 1-0 advantage in the playoff with a 6-4 victory on Feb. 17.

Following that, the Wolverines knocked the Rampage out in Prince Rupert with a hard-fought 4 - 3 victory.

In the East Division, there was also surprising upset as the upstart Nechako Northstars playing their first season in Vanderhoof and Fort St. James picked off the second place Williams Lake Stampeders in a best-of-three Feb. 11, 18 and 19.

While Nechako only managed six wins to Williams Lake’s 11 during the season, they had the Stampeders’ number splitting the season series and winning the first and last in the best of three.

The Northstars faced off in the East Division final with the regular season league-leading Quesnel Kangaroos (12-3-0-1).

As the host team, Quesnel was already guaranteed a spot in the four-team round-robin.

Last season in a modified version of the championship,

Terrace hosted the Dawson Creek Canucks, winner of the North Peace Hockey League (NPHL) in a best-of-three series.

This season sees a return to the traditional format in which the qualifiers are: the host team, the winner of the CIHL, the winner of the NPHL and a yet-to-be-disclosed finalist.

- With files from K-J Millar


Do you have a comment about this story? email: