It was a tough start to the season for the Kangaroos, with a double header roadtrip weekend kickstarting the team into action.
The ‘Roos split the weekend, winning their first game against the Prince Rupert Rampage, 6-4 and losing their second against the Kitimat Ice Demons, 7-3.
Bob Marsh was happy with the team’s play over the weekend.
“We’ve got a lot of talent and you can see that talent coming through in our games,” he said.
The offensive talent is particularly good, he said, with three scoring lines that proved themselves on the weekend.
Marsh was also happy with the amount of players that made it out, though a last minute problem had them playing without a back up goalie, which thankfully had no effect on the weekend.
In Prince Rupert the ‘Roos calmed down a packed, noisy arena as they took down the Rampage in an action-packed game.
Ryan Manderson and Warren Hanson of Prince Rupert performed flawlessly, despite great chances on both sides and players hungry for the first goal of the season.
The ‘Roos started out the second short-handed and paid the price for it, with the Rampage’s Kory Movold opening the scoring 1:19 into the period with a wrist shot from a bad angle.
‘Roos new recruit, Tyrell Turgeon quieted the crowd with a response for the ‘Roos two minutes later with a five-hole shot to tie things up. Nick Tomassetti followed Turgeon’s goal five minutes later to put the ‘Roos ahead. Matt Stang piled it on with one of his own to make it 3-1, giving the ‘Roos a cushion.
The cushion didn’t last long, as the run of goals coaxed the Rampage into a berserker rage.
Kendal Mossini took away the ‘Roos cushion with less than three minutes to play in the second. Thirteen seconds later Kendall Stace-Smith tied the score and brought the crowd right back into the game.
The offensive rampage was completed with 2.3 seconds left to play, when Jordan Weir pulled Prince Rupert back out in front to round out the second period.
Quesnel made it known they weren’t out within the first two minutes of the third, with Paul Girodat forcing a turnover and feeding Turgeon who slid it past Hanson on a 2-on-0.
Alek Gibbs followed that three minutes later, sniping top shelf to put the ‘Roos ahead.
The Rampage had opportunities late in the game, including a 5-on-3 powerplay with six minutes to go, but a late penalty for too many men on the ice resulted in another Kangaroos goal as Turgeon deked out Hanson and put away the backhander to give the visitors the 6-4 win.
Next up was one of last year’s toughest teams, the Kitimat Ice Demons.
Tomassetti, who had played in the first game, didn’t play as a nagging injury kept him on the bench.
Despite the lop-sided score, the ‘Roos held their own throughout the game, but lost it in the latter half of the third.
“We just ran out of gas,” Marsh said.
Stang opened up the scoring in the first minute of the game, which had the ‘Roos in front for the first half of the first.
A couple of goals in the tenth minute by Derek Wakita and Josh Slanina put the ‘Roos behind.
Derrick Delisser scored again at 14:07 to give the Ice Demons a cushion.
The second didn’t see much action on the score clock.
Joel Boyetchko scored early for the ‘Roos, marking the only goal in the period.
At 3-2 at the beginning of the third, the ‘Roos were within striking distance of another win.
Delisser took the Ice Demons out of danger, snapping one past Manderson at 7:50.
Justin Fulton responded on the power play for the’Roos at 11:46.
Delisser pushed the Ice Demons out of danger once again with his third of the night, followed by Slanina netting two goals in quick sucession to get himself a hat trick and put the ‘Roos’ hopes to bed.
The ‘Roos are back in action, and on the road, this weekend playing the Lac La Hache Tomohawks.