Terrace’s unbeaten streak was finally broken in the second-last game of the Central Hockey League (CIHL) season, with the short-handed River Kings falling to Quesnel and Williams Lake ahead of the playoffs which begin this weekend.
On Feb. 11, Terrace was bombarded by four first period goals in Quesnel, losing to the Kangaroos 6-3. The River Kings dressed 12 skaters for the game, and despite two goals from Colin Bell could not pull off the comeback.
The visitors only had 10 skaters available for the Feb. 12 game against the Stampeders in Williams Lake, but were able to jump out to a 3-1 lead in the first period. However, the short bench could not keep the Stampeders at bay for long. Williams Lake netted two goals in the second and three goals in the third to end the game at 5-3.
Prior to the loss, the River Kings had won every game this season except for one — a tie with rival Prince Rupert Rampage. Despite the loss of an undefeated season Terrace is well positioned heading into the CIHL playoffs. The team cruised to first place in the standings and a record of 11-2-1, scoring 74 goals and only allowing 38.
The River Kings will now turn their attention toward a first round playoff matchup with the Hazelton Wolverines. The best-of-three series will begin at the Upper Skeena Recreation Centre in Hazelton on Feb. 18, with game two in Terrace on Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. at the Terrace Sportsplex. If needed, game three will be held on Feb. 20 in Terrace.
Terrace has scored at will versus the Wolverines this season, beating them 8-2, 9-2, and 9-6 in the three matchups between the teams. The Wolverines finished in last place with a 4-9 record.