With just three games now remaining in the regular season, the Williams Lake Stampeders were looking for a solid road outing during the weekend as they travelled to face the Hazelton Wolverines and the Smithers Steelheads.
In Hazelton Saturday night, bus legs proved costly and saw the Stamps fall behind 2-0 early, before giving up three unanswered goals in the third period and falling 7-3 in regulation.
Williams Lake goal scorers were Cole Zimmerman and Wilf Robbins, who potted two in the defeat.
Still looking to close the gap in the standings for third place in the Central Interior Hockey League on Sunday, the fourth-place Stamps headed to Smithers where they rebounded in a one sided 6-1 triumph.
Tye Moses, Kurtis Bond, Ryan Yaworski, Dylan Richardson (2G) and Mark Bouchard lit the lamp for Williams Lake as they improved to five wins, six losses and two overtime losses on the campaign.
Stampeders newcomer and goaltender Zach Straza picked up the player of the game nod for his job between the pipes against the Steelheads, while Saturday night’s player of the game for Williams Lake was Robbins, who tallied two goals.
The weekend creates a log jam for third place in the CIHL standings causing a three-way tie between the Quesnel Kangaroos, the Wolverines and the Stampeders, who each have 12 points.
Also heading north to take on the Wolverines and the Steelheads, the Kangaroos went winless over the weekend, while Hazelton shot up following a perfect weekend.
The Stampeders, with five wins, six losses and two overtime losses, will be looking to down the CIHL’s top two dogs this coming weekend when they host the second place Prince Rupert Rampage Saturday and the league leading Terrace River Kings Sunday at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex.
The River Kings (10W, 1L) have been defeated just once this season. That loss came on the road at the hands of the Rampage on Dec. 7.
The Stamps, meanwhile, will wrap up their regular season on Saturday, Feb. 1 when they host the Kangaroos in what’s shaping up to be a pivotal matchup to determine final standings heading into playoffs.
This Saturday’s (Jan. 18) game versus the Rampage kicks off at 7:30 p.m., followed by a 1 p.m. puck drop Sunday, Jan. 19 against the River Kings.