The Williams Lake Stampeders exploded for 14 goals Saturday night in their Central Interior Hockey League opener, much to the chagrin of the Lac La Hache Tomahawks, who were competing in their very first game as members of the league.
Close to 700 fans, some travelling from Lac La Hache to see their team’s first game, watched at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex as the two sides put on an exciting contest, tilting 14-5 in Williams Lake’s favour, to kick off the season.
Striking first were the Tomahawks — much to the delight of Lac La Hache fans in attendance — as Ryan Minnabarriet snuck a wrister past Williams Lake netminder Justin Foote early in the first period to give his team a 1-0 lead.
From there, however, it was all Williams Lake. The Stampeders received scoring from throughout their lineup as veterans and newcomers contributed on the score sheet.
Just two minutes in, Williams Lake’s Tyler Fuller would even up the score, before Tyrel Lucas, Francis Johnson and Wilfred Robbins would put the hometown club up 5-1 heading into the second.
There, the Tomahawks would attempt to chop away at the Williams Lake lead. Williams Lake minor hockey product Tye Moses, playing in his first season in the CIHL, notched his first goal of the campaign for the Tomahawks just three minutes into the frame.
Johnson added his second of the contest next, before Joe Morgan and Bill McGinnis each found the twine for the Stamps.
Lac La Hache’s Anthony Robbins lit the lamp for the Tomahawks with two minutes left in the frame to make it 8-3.
In the third Anthony potted his second of the game to cut the deficit to half, but Williams Lake would continue to apply pressure.
Lucas added his second, as did Morgan, before Wilfred potted his third of the contest. Lac La Hache’s Jeremy Zelt would add one more goal for the Tomahawks, before Morgan added his second and third goals of the night.
Lucas, Morgan and Wilfred each potted hat tricks for Williams Lake. Johnson also added two goals for the Stampeders while Geoff Morgan, Fuller and McGinnis each added singles.
Goaltending duties for Williams Lake were shared by Foote (14 saves) and Duncan Peeman (four saves). For the Tomahawks, former Stampeder netminder Willie Sellars stopped 20 shots, while Brody Borg turned aside 17. Total shots in the game were 51 for Williams Lake and 23 for Lac La Hache.
Coming up for the Stampeders are a pair of road games this weekend (Oct. 8-9).
The Stamps meet the Smithers Steelheads on Saturday before taking on the Hazelton Wolverines on Sunday.
Williams Lake’s next home game goes Saturday, Oct. 15 against the Wolverines at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex. Game time is 7:30 p.m.