The crowd noise swelled to massive cheers at the West Fraser Centre on Saturday, March 5, where the Quesnel Kangaroos eliminated the Williams Lake Stampeders from CIHL playoffs in a 6-1 rout.
Saturday night’s matchup was the second game in a best-of-three series.
While Brendan Pigeon, assisted by Nick Fidanza and Cole Zimmerman, scored the first goal of the night in front of a raucous crowd for the Stampeders, the Kangaroos proved too much to overcome.
Goals by Eli Jarvis, assisted by Bryan Allbee, and Eric Galbraith, assisted by Justin Fulton and Alessio Tomassetti, in the first period carried the Kangaroos to a 2-1 lead. Two more goals off the sticks of Jordan Draper, assisted by Lane Vandewetering, and Justin Fillion, assisted by Brody Dyck and Chase Astorino, extended Quesnel’s lead 4-1 into the second.
In the final frame, the Kangaroos added goals by Astorino assisted by Dyck, and Tomassetti from Galbraith and Alek Gibbs.
“Emotions are high—it feels good to win the first series, that’s for sure,” said Kangaroos head coach Harley Gilks, adding the team has to face another round of playoffs before advancing to the Coy Cup.
The Roos were given a first-round bye by being the top team in their division which included the Stampeders and Nechako North Stars.
Their 2-0 series win against Williams Lake on home ice followed a 7-5 win Friday, March 4, at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex, where seats were filled by around 45 Kangaroos spectators who arrived by a free fan bus.
“We had hard-fought battles,” said Stamps general manager Cody Tent.
“Just couldn’t really put the puck in the net tonight [Saturday], so it ended a little earlier than we’d like it to. The game last night in Wiliams Lake was a nice barn burner type game, and that’s what we expected coming in against these guys because they’re a good hockey team.”
During Saturday’s game at the West Fraser Centre dozens of young fans held handmade signs supporting the Kangaroos, including 11-year-old Kadeyn Vipond who won a jersey autographed by the senior-AA men’s hockey team.
Kangaroos team president Tyler Coleman said their fan support has been consistently getting better and better.
“They seem to love us and we love them back—it’s a great relationship,” he said.
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