The Williams Lake Stampeders will need back-to-back wins this weekend in Williams Lake in order to stave off playoff elimination.
The Quesnel Kangaroos took a one-game-to-nothing, best-of-three series lead Saturday on home ice, hopping to a 7-6 victory over the Stampeders in the Central Interior Hockey League semifinal.
Quesnel netminder Ryan Manderson played a major role in the Kangaroos’ success, turning aside 42 of 48 shots in the contest. At the other end Stampeders’ goaltender Justin Foote was less busy, stopping 22 of 29 attempts in the losing effort.
Quesnel’s Harley Gilks put the Kangaroos on the board at 6:28 of the first period, scoring his first of a three-goal and a four-point night, before Williams Lake’s Jassi Sangha evened it up at 1-1 with just over five minutes left in the frame.
Gilks potted his second of the night moments later, and Rigby Burgart scored 30 seconds later, to give Quesnel an early 3-1 lead with time winding down in the frame.
Williams Lake, however, would send the contest into the second period tied at 3-3 after Nathan Zurak scored his first of three goals and Tyrel Lucas added a tally with one minute left.
In the second Quesnel continued to pressure the Stampeders, scoring three unanswered goals from Justin Fulton, Gilks and Matt Stang, to go up 6-3.
Zurak would cut the deficit to one going into the third period, scoring two more goals to close out the period.
Both teams turned up their defensive efforts in the third and traded goals with Matt Powell potting the game winner for Quesnel at 1:52 of the frame. Matt Lees added a single midway through the period in the 7-6 decision.
The East Division final and the CIHL semifinal resumes this Saturday in Williams Lake at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex with game two beginning at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, if required, game three will begin at 1:30 p.m.
In the West Divsion final and other CIHL semifinal the Smithers Steelheads took a 1-0 series lead over the Terrace River Kings in Terrace. The Smithers, River Kings series also resumes this Saturday in Smithers.