The Quesnel Kangaroos pushed their record above .500 in their final game of 2019 with a 4-1 win Saturday, Dec. 28 in Williams Lake.
The Roos had the game in hand early, as Ryan Keis netted his first goal of the season assisted by Justin Fulton and Adam Chapman two minutes into the first period.
The Roos would outshoot the Stampeders 15-10 in the period and the ice seemed to be slanted in the visiting team’s favour, as they continued to build momentum and control the pace of the game.
Quesnel captain Alessio Tomassetti says his team was focused and showed up ready to play.
“Every line was ready from the get go,” he said. “All the guys knew the role they had to play, and we got the job done.”
The Roos would add another first-period goal and first of the season, as defencemen Ryan Reynolds earned the first notch under the goal column on his stat sheet this year, sneaking the rubber past Stampeders goaltender William Sellers. Assists on the goal went to Justin Fulton and Domenic Tomassetti.
The second period saw emotions begin to boil, as the two teams traded penalties and powerplays back and forth. Only the Roos, however, would capitalize on the man-advantage, as Keis scored his second goal of the game, assisted by Reynolds and Cameron Graham, raising the Roos’ lead to 3-0.
The Stampeders would add a too-little-too-late goal in the third that would only serve to spoil a shutout for Roos goaltender Brandon Peacock, who played an excellent game, saving 27 of the 28 shots against him on the night.
The Roos would add an empty-netter scored by Domenic Tomassetti late in the period to bring the final score to 4-1, a convincing win for the Roos on the road.
Many fans, sensing the home team’s impeding loss, had already headed for the doors when pandemonium broke out on the ice, as tempers flared and this heated rivalry came to a head. The officials’ lungs must nearly have collapsed as the steady blaring blasts of whistles echoed throughout the arena. With 35 seconds left in the game, a total of 45 penalty minutes were handed out.
“Tension has been boiling over for nine years,” Alessio Tomassetti said when asked about the brawl, adding, “We don’t like them and they don’t like us, so every time we play them, there will be bad blood. We are ready to beat them in every way we can.”
The two teams will meet again in their final game of the regular season on Feb. 1, and Tomassetti says “that fire will be there for sure.”
With the win, the Roos pull above .500 for the season with a record of 6-5. They will look to keep improving their record as they take on the 3-7 Smithers Steelheads at “The Pond” on Jan. 11.