The Quesnel Kangaroos are one win away from hosting the Coy Cup after picking up a 8-4 victory over the Terrace River Kings in game one of the CIHL league championship finals on Saturday, March 12.
Nearly halfway into the first period, the crowd held its breath, waiting anxiously for who would score the first goal of the night at the West Fraser Centre.
At 11:57, Colin Bell assisted by Colton Braid gave Terrace’s first goal of the action-packed game. Shortly after, the River Kings amassed a 2-0 lead with a goal by Gianni Carmano assisted by Braid.
There were deafening cheers as Quesnel answered back with two goals of their own. The first by Chase Astorino, assisted by Ryan Kies, and the second by Alessio Tomassetti with Eric Galbraith assisting to tie the score 2-2 to end the opening period.
While the River Kings scored two more, the Kangaroos would explode for five unanswered goals before the buzzer sounded to end the second frame giving Quesnel a 7-4 edge heading in the third period.
After a barrage of penalties against both teams, including game misconduct in which some fans stood and cheered as players fought, Justin Fulton, with assists by Tomassetti and Jordan Low, sealed the deal for Quesnel with 38.9 seconds remaining.
The Kangaroos skated to an 8-4 victory on home ice.
“The boys were going, and there were good battles from both sides,” said Kangaroos head coach Harley Gilks.
“We just ended up taking it away from them (River Kings) in the second period.”
The CIHL league championship finals will continue in Terrace with game two of the best-of-three matchup on Saturday, March 19. Game three, if necessary, will be on Sunday, March 20.
“I thought our team played really well,” said River Kings coach Rory Reinbolt.
” I don’t think they deserve to be down 8-4 — we were short, and it was a gutsy effort, so we’re pretty anxious to go back home into the final.”
Winner of the series will get to host the 2022 Coy Cup against the Dawson Creek Canucks in a three-day tournament March 25 -27.
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