The Quesnel Kangaroos wanted to send a message to the Central Interior Hockey League they weren’t to be taken likely.
That message was sent loud and clear Saturday night as the expansion ‘Roos doubled the Williams Lake Stampeders 8-4 in Williams Lake at the Cariboo Memorial Complex.
“We didn’t come to play,” said Don Hanson, Stampeders general manager. “It was a total mess.”
The loss brings the Stamps to three wins and two losses on the campaign, while the Kangaroos continued their unbeaten streak at 5-0. The Kangaroos currently sit first in the CIHL’s East Division, with Williams Lake in second.
Williams Lake’s Wilfred Robbins lit the lamp first on the night when a power play goal snuck by Quesnel netminder Ryan Manderson, putting the 600-700 fans in attendance on their feet.
The Stampeders’ celebration, however, was short lived. Former Stampeder Paul Girodat made his ex-teammates pay almost 14 minutes into the first on the power play, tying the contest at one.
Shortly after Nick Tomassetti made it 2-1, before Girodat would add his second of what would be an eventual hat trick, putting his team up by two.
Francis Johnson put his team back within one late in the first period, before Waylon Heureux scored what held up as the game winner with 1:21 remaining in the first.
Brent McIsaac and Bill McGinnis each added markers for the Stamps in the second, while Rigby Bergart added a single, and Girdoat capped off his hat trick performance. In the third, the ‘Roos Curtis Gassoff scored twice to round out the 8-4 final score.
Manderson stopped 32 of 36 shots in the win, while Williams Lake goaltender Justin Foote stopped 40.
A total of 112 penalty minutes were handed out in the contest, including six fighting majors — one scrap in each period.
Hanson said following the game a team meeting was held, as no one was happy with the team’s play.
“We had a meeting after the game and discussed some things,” he said.
“We played very, very lazy and selfishly out there and hopefully going forward they learned something from it.
“After they got some static they all agreed that they’ve got to come in here with an attitude, and that attitude is to win.”
The Stampeders are now preparing for four consecutive games on the road. First, on Nov. 5, the Stamps head to Lac La Hache for their second season meeting with the Tomahawks. The following weekend, Williams Lake battles the Omineca Ice on Nov. 12, before travelling to Quesnel for a Nov. 13 rematch with the Kangaroos.
Closing out the series of road games is the third season meeting between the Stamps and the Tomahawks on Nov. 18 at the Rolf Zeis Memorial Arena.
On Nov. 19, the Tomahawks return to the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex for the final season meeting between the two clubs. Game time is 7:30 p.m.