The Williams Lake Stampeders sent the struggling Quesnel Kangaroos hobbling back north in a memorable game Saturday night in Williams Lake.
Coming into the lakecity Saturday the Kangaroos (9-3-2), still sitting in first place in the Central Interior Hockey League East Division, had just two wins in their last six games.
Williams Lake, on the back of a third-period, five-goal outburst, moved two points closer to taking over the top spot in the division with a 9-5 win.
“I thought it was a very well played game on both sides,” said Stampeders general manager Don Hanson. “It was a little bit chippy on the Quesnel side there but we’re happy with the result. I think we just outplayed them.”
Williams Lake’s Gilbert Robbins, in his first game back off a shoulder injury, lit the lamp first to put his team up 1-0 heading into the second.
There, the Stampeders went up 2-0 after Jason Wright tipped a Nathan Zurak shot to beat ‘Roos netminder Ryan Manderson.
Quesnel, to the approval of about 30 fans who made the trek to Williams Lake, answered back when Justin Fulton and Rigby Burgart both beat Stamps’ goalie Justin Foote in quick succession to tie the contest at two.
On the ensuing faceoff, Williams Lake assistant captain Francis Johnson marched down the ice and found the twine to lift his team, again, to a lead. Quesnel, however, wasn’t about to lay down and continued to apply pressure when Waylon L’Heureux made it 3-3 late in the frame.
Williams Lake wasn’t done, though, and Robbins added his second of the night to put the Stamps up 4-3 going into the third.
The third period was all Williams Lake. Wright capped off a hat-trick performance and both Nathan and Aaron Zurak potted goals, while Johnson added his second, to skate away with the victory.
Scoring for Quesnel in the third were Elijah Hetu and Joey McDonald. Foote was solid between the pipes for the Stampeders stopping 29 of 34 shots.
With the win the Stampeders improve to 9-4-0 on the campaign and will look to take over top spot in the division and win their fifth consecutive game next Saturday, Dec. 10 when they visit Quesnel to take on the ‘Roos.
It will be the fourth season meeting between the two clubs.
To date Williams Lake has the upper hand in the season series with two wins.
“It’s a big game for us,” Hanson said. “They’ve got to get up there and do their thing. They know what it’s about and it would be nice to be first in our division.”
For fans interested in making the trip to Quesnel game time is 7:30 p.m. at the Twin Ice Arena.