The Williams Lake Stampeders are back in the driver’s seat of the Central Interior Hockey League East Division following a pair of weekend road wins.
The Stampeders travelled south for games Saturday and Sunday against the Lac La Hache Tomahawks, winning both and improving their record to 8-2-1 on the campaign.
The wins leave the Stampeders with one game in hand and one point ahead of the second-place Quesnel Kangaroos, with 17 points — also good enough for first place in the league with seven games still remaining in the 18-game regular season.
Saturday, the Stampeders held off a Tomahawks squad who seemed to have found its legs in the third period, to win 6-4.
Williams Lake, with two goals from Matt Lees in the first two periods, and lone markers from David Gore and Stuart Sasges, carried a 4-1 lead into the final frame.
There, Donovan Nicholas, with two, and Ty Moses, cut the Williams Lake lead to just a goal with time winding down.
Lees would later pot his third of the night to restore Williams Lake’s two-goal lead and the win.
Justin Foote was awarded the win in goal for the Stampeders after a less-than-busy night, stopping 17 of 21 shots. On the other end Tomahawks’ netminder Matt Brenner was busy, facing a 50-shot barrage in the contest.
On Sunday in game two of the double-header Williams Lake exploded for 15 goals, with league-leading scorer Nathan Zurak (11-22-33) recording 10 points (five goals and five assists), to win 15-4.
Also scoring for Williams Lake Sunday were Andrew Fisher (1-2-3), Aaron Zurak (1-4-5), Lees (3-4-7), Gore (2-3-5), Sasges (1-3-4), Dan Cohen (1-1-2) and Jassi Sangha (1-3-4).
Providing the Tomahawks’ offence were Anthony Sellars (1-0-1), Robin Gilbert (1-0-1), Wilfred Robbins (1-1-2) and Grant Johnson (1-0-1).
Williams Lake is now preparing for its longest homestand of the season — four games — beginning this Saturday, Nov. 30, when the West Division-leading Kitimat Ice Demons roll into town.
So far the Ice Demons have put together six wins, four losses and one overtime loss — the most recent a 5-2 loss to the Smithers Steelheads on Sunday.
Williams Lake, meanwhile, is on a five-game winning streak.
Puck drop is 7:30 p.m. at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex.
Following Saturday’s tilt Williams Lake hosts the Houston Luckies on Dec. 7.