A short-benched Williams Lake Stampeders squad had just enough gas in the tank to split a two-game home stand on the weekend.
Saturday night was a date with the Central Division Houston Luckies (6-6-0).
Williams Lake, after a four-goal barrage from Francis Johnson proved to be the difference maker, secured a 10-6 victory.
Rounding out the scoring for the Stampeders were Nathan Zurak (2), Gilbert Robbins, Stu Sasges, Aaron Zurak and Tyson Hall.
Sunday, with several Stampeders players out with injury, Williams Lake was hammered, 7-1, by the undefeated Smithers Steelheads.
With just 12 players Williams Lake never had the legs to get into the contest and the Steelheads added another easy win to their record. Smithers now sits at 13-0 on the campaign and holds a commanding lead over the rest of the Central Division, and the league, heading into playoffs.
Scoring for Smithers were Darcy Huisman (2), Joe Karpinski, Eric Smith (2), Ian Smith and Curt Dekens while Nathan Zurak potted the lone goal in the third period for Williams Lake.
With the win on Saturday Williams Lake moved into a first-place tie in the Central Interior Hockey League’s East Division with the Quesnel Kangaroos. Both the Stampeders and the Kangaroos have two games remaining on the season.
Williams Lake, with 11 wins and five losses, is now off for the holidays and will resume play in January.
The Stamps first game back is Jan. 7 at 7:30 p.m. against the Omineca Ice. Then, the following day on Jan. 8, the two teams play their final regular season games. Game time is 1:30 p.m.
Both games are at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex.