The Williams Lake Stampeders open their season this Saturday against the Lac la Hache Tomahawks at the Rolf Zeis Memorial Arena in Lac la Hache at 7:30 p.m.

Stampeders win opener in shootout over Tomahawks

The Williams Lake Stampeders scored three shorthanded goals and battled back from a 3-0 deficit Saturday to stun the Lac La Hache Tomahawks.

The Williams Lake Stampeders scored three shorthanded goals and battled back from a 3-0 deficit Saturday to stun the Lac La Hache Tomahawks on their own home ice, 6-5, in a shootout.

The Tomahawks’ Don Nicholas opened the scoring on the power play just prior to the two minute mark before Grant Johnson and Wade Balbirmie (power play) sent the Tomahawks up 3-0 heading into the second frame.

The Stampeders got on the board near the seven-minute mark of the second period when Nathan Zurak scored his first of the season on the power play, beating Lac La Hache netminder Willie Sellars, before defenceman Brent McIsaac cut the deficit to one short handed.

Tomahawks’ forward Wilfred Robbins sent his club up two goals heading into the third period beating Stamps’ netminder Justin Foote with eight minutes remaining in the frame.

There, Matt Lees scored the Stamps’ second short handed goal of the game before, just under a minute later, Dylan Richardson tied the game at 4-4. Lees, on a setup from Richardson, added his second of the night minutes later at the 12:19 mark of the third.

Nicholas added the game-tying goal and his second of the evening with five minutes left on the clock to send the contest to a shootout.

Williams Lake bench boss Cliff Philpot called on three of his goal-scorers in the shootout — Richardson, Lees and Zurak. Tomahawks’ coach Al Navrot went with Robbins, Nicholas and Robin Gilbert.

Both Lees and Zurak converted on their attempts, while just Nicholas was able to beat Foote, giving Williams Lake the 6-5 win.

Shots on goal were 38-32 in Williams Lake’s favour.

Other results from around the Central Interior Hockey League Saturday had last year’s Coy Cup Champions, the Smithers Steelheads, lay a 9-3 drubbing on the Omineca Ice. The Terrace River Kings duplicated the Stampeders’ effort, winning 6-5 in a shootout over the Houston Luckies, and the Kitimat Ice Demons downed the Prince Rupert Rampage, 6-1.

The Stampeders return home to the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex this Saturday, Oct. 13 to play the first of a seven game homestand against the Ice Demons. Puck drop is 7:30 p.m.

The following day, Oct. 14 at 1:30 p.m., Williams Lake hosts the Rampage.

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