The Quesnel Kangaroos spoiled the Williams Lake Stampeders’ home opener in front of a near packed house at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex Saturday night.
Notching the game winner with just 15 seconds left in the contest, the Kangaroos hopped home from the lakecity with a 6-5 victory under their belts in Central Interior Hockey League East Division play.
The two teams, who have no love lost between each other after years of several tough battles on the ice, once again carried on the tradition as Saturday’s clash proved to be a rough and gritty battle.
Quesnel opened the scoring less than three minutes into the game, before going up 2-0 just a minute later to put a hush over the hometown fans.
Rookie Tristan Sailor, however, brought the crowd back to life as he notched his first as a Stampeder to cut the deficit to one, before Chad Wilde tied the game at two a piece midway through the second.
Williams Lake would go up 3-2 briefly late in the second when Cody Hodges lit the limp, however, Qusenel was quick to answer back. Stampeders captain Kurtis Bond, though, put his team up 4-3 with time winding down heading into the third and final frame.
There, Wilf Robbins, with 12 minutes remaining in the third, put the Stamps up 5-3, but Quesnel wasn’t about to let the lakecity club off the hook so easy.
Penalty trouble, meanwhile, proved to be the Achilles heel for the Stamps, as Quesnel was able to even the game the game at 5-5 while on the power play with six minutes remaining. The late goal, and the 6-5 win, improved the Kangaroos to two wins and three losses on the CIHL regular season, while Williams Lake slips to three wins, two losses and one overtime loss.
Saturday’s player of the game for the Stampeders, as awarded by head coach Al Navrot, was team captain Kurtis Bond who, along with newcomer Cole Zimmerman, stuck around after the game to sign autographs and to chat with fans.
The Stampeders will now have the following weekend off, before returning to the ice at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex on Sunday, Nov. 3 to host the Kitimat Ice Demons. Puck drop for the game is 1 p.m.