It all went sideways in the last half of the third period.
“For two periods we outplayed them and out chanced them, but their goalie played exceptionally well,” head coach Brian Kozak said.
The ‘Roos and Tomahawks teeter-tottered their way through 50 minute of play before a quick succession of Lac La Hache goals sent them spiralling to a 6-2 loss.
The ‘Roos started goaltender Shane Mainprize in his first start in the CIHL, and through the first period he, along with Lac La Hache goalie, William Sellers, stayed solid between theposts.
The ‘Roos rotated through their four offensive lines, pushing hard through the first period and taking control of the game, said Kozak.
Despite the rush, they were unable to solve Sellers leaving a pair of zeros on the scoreboard for the intermission.
Lac La Hache opened the scoring 6:41 into the second, with Drew Rose getting the point with a little help from Kevin McNab and Robin Gilbert.
Less than a minute later, Matt Stang tied the game up at one a piece. Stang figured out Sellers with a toe drag and a quick snap shot top shelf to get the ‘Roos on the board.
Joel Boyetchko, Stang and Harley Gilks worked through a Lac La Hache penalty to get another point, with Boyetchko pulling the trigger at 10:25.
Lac La Hache caught the ‘Roos off guard during a penalty kill with just over five minutes left in the period. Tyrell Dan got the short-handed goal to even the game out again, leaving the teams once again balanced going into the final period.
With their time and chances counting down, the ‘Roos started to push harder for the go-ahead goal.
Through the first 10 minutes the game stayed even, but then the avalanche of Tomahawk goals began.
The ‘Roos got caught out pressing to hard at 12:42 and Robin Gilbert capitalised on the chance to sneak Lac La Hache into the lead.
Devon Whalen then got put in the box for roughing and Lac La Hache was there once again, with McNab getting the honour this time.
Turgeon then got nabbed when his shoulder made contact with a player’s head in a hard hit, giving him both a five minute major and a game misconduct for the hit.
Once again Lac La Hache was there to put the screws to the ‘Roos.
Donovan Nicholas found the back of the goal during the penalty and put the Tomahawks a demoralizing three goals ahead.
In the dying minutes Kozak pulled Mainprize, hoping to close the distance between the teams.
It looked good as the Tomahawks were already killing a penalty when Mainprize hit the bench, but Wilfred Robins put an end to any comeback dreams with an empty netter with seconds over one minute left in the game.
It was Kozak’s first game behind the bench and overall he said he’s happy with his lines and the depth of offensive skill he has on the bench.
This weekend the ‘Roos play a double header against the Williams Lake Stampeders, last year’s Coy Cup winners and this year’s Coy Cup hosts.
It’s a heavy beginning to the year said Kozak, adding next weekend the ‘Roos will play the Stampeders again as well as the Smithers Steelheads, last year’s league winners, followed once again by a bout with the Stampeders.
“It’s a really heavy laden start to the season,” Kozak said.
“But it’s a good challenge for the guys to play up to.”
The ‘Roos play this Friday and Saturday in Williams Lake, with a 7 p.m. face off for both games.