It was exactly what you’d expect from a meeting between the Williams Lake Stampeders and the Quesnel Kangaroos — two teams who appear to, at least on the ice, not like each other.
In a game where both teams chocked up 40-plus minutes of penalties, including several fighting majors, Williams Lake managed to march away with an 8-5 victory Saturday night in front of more than 500 fans at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex. With the win Williams Lake improved to three wins and one loss on the campaign.
“It was a typical Qusenel game,” said Stampeders general manager Kelly Kohlen. “We sort of get sucked into their style of hockey.”
The Kangaroos, following goals from Justin Fulton (power play) and Levon Johnson, edged Williams Lake 2-1 heading into the second frame.
There, Williams Lake blew it open, scoring six unanswered goals. A Kangaroos goaltending change from Ryan Manderson to Josh Levesque didn’t matter, either, as Tyrel Lucas added his second of the game and Matt Lees, Nathan Zurak, newcomer John Woodyard, Tyler Fuller and Aaron Zurak each added tallies of their own.
The Kangaroos pressed back in the third and were able to find the twine three times on Williams Lake netminder Justin Foote, but it wasn’t enough. Nathan added his second of the contest, assisted by Fuller and Dan Cook, to keep Williams Lake up comfortably to send the hometown fans home happy.
The Stampeders’ roster Saturday featured a new-look first line with Lucas, Francis Johnson and Woodyard seeing lots of ice time through the opening two periods.
For Woodyard, it was his first time suiting up in a Stampeders jersey. The addition to the Stampeders’ lineup proved helpful as the newcomer potted a goal and added two assists for a three-point night. Lucas also ended with three points (2G, 1A), while Johnson contributed two assists.
Kohlen said the trio had never played together before Saturday.
“Our first line played well together,” he said. “They’d never played together and I think once they got a period under them they played well. Quesnel tried to match that line with their top line but our guys just dominated them.”
Foote, for his part, made 41 saves in the winning effort, while shots on goal went 46-42 in Williams Lake’s favour.
The Stampeders now have four more consecutive home games at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex — the next coming back to back this weekend, Oct. 27-28, against the Omineca Ice and last year’s unbeaten Smithers Steelheads, respectively. Saturday night’s game starts at 7:30 p.m., while Sunday puck drop is 1:30 p.m.
For more on the Stampeders visit www.wlstampeders.com.