The Terrace River Kings are the Central Interior Hockey League champions.
The Kings knocked off the visiting Williams Lake Stampeders 4-3 Saturday night to sweep the best-of-three CIHL playoff final, 2-0, after winning game one in Williams Lake the weekend prior, 6-5 in overtime.
It was a late too many men on the ice penalty called against the Stamps that proved costly, as River Kings assistant captain Luke Gordon notched the winning marker with just 41 seconds left in the contest.
“That’s a tough way to lose,” said Stampeders head coach Dave Lauzon. “But we have a hell of a battle with those guys. It’s about as fair a matchup as you can get in senior hockey. We were ready to play. It was a good hockey game. We had two good leads, 2-0 and 3-2, and just couldn’t hold it, but it was a disappointing way to end a good game like that.”
Williams Lake had jumped out to an early 2-0 first-period lead with goals from Colten Defrais and Kurtis Bond, before Terrace answered back on a power play, then notched another to even up the score at 2-2.
The Stampeders then regained a one-goal lead on a blast from Kaleb Boyle to wrap up the second period’s scoring.
Terrace, however, blasted out of the starting blocks in the third period to tie the game at three a piece, before the late third-period goal sealed the deal in the contest for the championship.
“It was a good effort by the guys,” Lauzon said. “We just came up a little short.”
Both teams will be back in action in Williams Lake from March 27-31 when the Stampeders host the Coy Cup Senior Men’s ‘AA’ Provincial Championship on home ice.
Lauzon said the playoff defeat to the River Kings will undoubtedly fuel his lineup.
“The boys are ready, and we’ll be ready come Coy Cup time,” he said.
“The big goal is to win the Coy Cup.”
Check the Tribune for the game schedule as it becomes available.