Stampeders advance to CIHL playoff final

Hockey fans will get their last chance to see the Williams Lake Stampeders on home ice this season Saturday night.

Hockey fans will get their last chance to see the Williams Lake Stampeders on home ice this season Saturday night when they face the Smithers Steelheads in game one of the Central Interior Hockey League playoff final.

Williams Lake defeated the Quesnel Kangaroos 6-5 in overtime in game four of the CIHL East Division final to earn the opportunity to play for a playoff title and a berth in the Coy Cup senior men’s ‘AA’ provincial championship.

The Steelheads, meanwhile, knocked off the Terrace River kings in double overtime in game three of their series to advance.

“It should be a good series,” said Stampeders president Marko Zurak. “They’ve got a couple of really good players but I think we’re going to be evenly matched. I think we matchup really good with everybody right now.”

On Saturday in Quesnel Williams Lake took a 2-1 lead heading into the second period with goals from Caleb Roy and Matt Stang.

Matt Lees and Kaleb Boyle lifted the Stampeders to a 4-3 lead after two, before Stang gave Williams Lake a 5-3 lead midway through the third.

“When we were up 5-3 we got into a bit of penalty trouble and they tied it up on us and sent it to overtime,” Zurak said.

There, Lees provided the heroics in the 6-5 victory.

Game one of the CIHL final takes place this Saturday, Feb. 27 at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex. It will be the Stampeders last home game of the season as game two and, if necessary, game three go the following weekend in Smithers.

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