Long road to victory

The 'Roos fight back from second period deficit to win against the Lac La Hache Tomahawks.

The ‘Roos show off their new away jerseys in Lac La Hache last weekend.

With something to prove after their narrow loss at home, the ‘Roos followed the Tomahawks to their abode for a rematch.

The rematch proved to be worth the wait, with both teams throttling the other for a period each, with the Tomahawks taking firm control of the second and the ‘Roos handily taking the third.

But the ‘Roos’ avalanche of goals in the third clinch the game, coming back from a three goal deficit in the second to win the game 9-8.

“It was a great comeback, a team win,” coach Brian Kozak said.

“The boy are learning the why – they are starting to believe in themselves, believe in each other and believe in the team.”

The first period floated along on an even keel, a theme which both teams would abandon in the second and third period.

It was the ‘Roos who started off the scoring early in the first. Within two minute of the first, Justin Fulton slid the puck behind Tomahawks goaltender Willy Sellars.

It wasn’t long before the Tomahawks responded. A minute after the ‘Roos’ first, Wilf Robbins tied the score, beating ‘Roos ‘tender Ryan Manderson.

The ‘Roos kept pushing and managed to come out on top once again, just over a minute later, on a goal from Levon Johnson, who had a successful night.

The game then saw its only ten minutes without a goal by either team until the Tomahawks resumed the scoring with just under five minutes left in the first. Den Nicholas got the first-tying goal, sending both teams into the second on even standing.

The second was the Tomahawks period hands down, though it took a few minutes for them to get a good grip on it, around three and a half minutes, to be precise, which is when they started their streak.

The Tomahawks’ Willis Harry got the ball rolling. A minute later Robin Gilbert added to the momentum, bumping the Tomahawks up by two.

Eight and a half minutes later Johnson, in his second of the night, did his best to stem the tide.

The Tomahawks, however, were having none of it. Gilbert scoring his second of the night and of the period, followed not two minutes later, with just over a minute left in the period, by Robbins in his second of the night.

At the end of the second, things were looking grim for the ‘Roos, with Lac La Hache ahead 6-3.

In between the period, congregated in the dressing room, the ‘Roos found a bit of magic they had been playing without for the first two periods and burst into the third, taking control of the period half a minute in.

Riley Ferster started the ball rolling with the first goal and assistant captain Mike Kaluzny added to the momentum 43 seconds later to put them within a point of the Tomahawks.

A minute and a half later, Johnson completed his hat trick for the evening and brought the team up to par, with three quarters of the period still left to play.

Seven minutes into the period, Justin Fulton availed himself of the go-ahead goal.

Down for the first time since the first, the Tomahawks regrouped, with Robbins netting his third for a hat trick and putting the Tomahawks within a goal of the ‘Roos.

Paul Girodat soon broke the one-goal tension with a his first of the night, to give the ‘Roos the dangerous two goal pillow for the final 6 minutes.

With such a hard fought game, the ‘Roos didn’t get cocky, keeping the Tomahawks from doing any damage on their lead until a a goal at 0:01 from the Tomahawks Gilbert,  putting the crown on his hat trick, put the Tomahawks back within one without the time to even try for an equalizer.

The ‘Roos are on the road again next weekend with a game against the West Division-leading Kitimat Ice Demons next Saturday, followed by a match against the Prince Rupert Rampage on Sunday.

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