Williams Lake Stampeders assistant coach Dave Lauzon said the team will need everything to come together this weekend when they begin their quest for a Central Interior Hockey League playoff crown.
The Stampeders, winless in their last three outings including a narrow 5-4 defeat at the hands of the Quesnel Kangaroos Saturday night in their final regular season game, will host their northern marsupial rivals for game one of the best-of-three, round one playoff series at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex this Saturday, Feb. 8.
Williams Lake finished its regular season in fifth place out of seven teams in the CIHL with five wins, nine losses and two overtime losses. Quesnel, meanwhile, amassed eight wins and eight losses in its campaign.
“We have battled these guys all year and they had our number more than we had theirs,” Lauzon said. “There is a proud bunch of young men in our dressing room and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Scoring Saturday night for Williams Lake in the 5-4 loss were Cole Zimmerman, Kaleb Boyle, Tye Moses and Dylan Richardson.
Following game one in Williams Lake the series shifts to Quesnel for game two and, if necessary, game three the following weekend.
Lauzon added the team has quite a versatile roster of both youth, combined with some veteran presence on the ice. He said the coaching staff and players are able to tap into that come game time this Saturday.
“We’re lucky in that we have lots of options and a lot of versatility with our players,” he said. “We’ll be fine player-wise this weekend. We’re just going to need a huge effort to come out with a victory.”
Puck drop is slated for 7:30 p.m. this Saturday at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex for the Stampeders playoff opener.