A late goal in regulation proved to once again be costly for the Williams Lake Stampeders as the Kitimat Ice Demons skated away from the lakecity Sunday with a 7-6 overtime victory under their belts.
Reminiscent of the Stamps’ home opener on Oct. 19 that saw the Quesnel Kangaroos score the game winner with just 15 seconds left in the contest, Kitimat sent Sunday’s tilt into overtime, tying the game at 6-6, with just 14 seconds left in the third frame. Roughly three-and-a-half minutes into overtime, Kitimat notched the game winner.
“We sprung a few leaks, but I’ve got lots of confidence in this team,” said Stampeders head coach Al Navrot of his club, which now drops to two wins, two losses and two overtime losses on the Central Interior Hockey League campaign.
“We’re improving in a lot of areas, I’m seeing it all the time and we’ve got a strong club. We probably should have beat them but we gave up the puck in a few key areas and that cost us yesterday.”
Williams Lake’s leading scorer Kaleb Boyle got his team on the board early in the first, before Kitimat tied the contest at 1-1 on the power play minutes later.
Williams Lake extended its lead on a snipe from Chad Wilde before Tye Moses, moments later, gave the Stampeders a 3-1 lead after coralling a Kitimat turnover and making no mistake to find the twine.
With just under a minute to play in the first, however, the Ice Demons, on a shot from the point, beat Stampeders’ goaltender Richard Ward to send the game into the intermission at 3-2.
Kitimat tied the contest at 3-3 early in the second, but Tristan Sailor answered back for Williams Lake to put his team up 4-3, before Kitimat tied it up again just past the halfway mark of the period.
Boyle notched his second, and later, completed the hat trick, however, Kitimat’s late goal to force overtime and, ultimately, the game winner from Kitimat, would deflate the fans’ sails at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex.
Williams Lake outshot the Ice Demons 36-20 in Sunday’s defeat.
Navrot said the team will now have a week to work on a few things in practice before heading to Quesnel to face the Kangaroos on Nov. 16.
“We’re trying to become stronger and stronger, and be more consistent,” Navrot said. “Adversity is a mental game. You’re always having to deal with it and we’ve got to keep focusing on working on our game and getting better at it. All said I’m very happy with the team, and this group. We’ve got a good bunch of young players, and the potential is good, and it’s very positive.”
After playing in Quesnel, Williams Lake will head home to the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex for back-to-back games on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 against the Hazelton Wolverines and the Smithers Steelheads, respectively.
Puck drop Saturday, Nov. 30 is 7 p.m., followed by a 1 p.m. start on Sunday, Dec. 1.