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Quesnel Kangaroos top CIHL standings

Playoff advantage for the Roos after 1st place finish

The Quesnel Kangaroos bounced all other opponents. The Senior-AA hockey team wrapped up their 2022-23 regular season in first place atop the Central Interior Hockey League (CIHL) standings.

The Roos finished with a record of 21 wins, three losses, one overtime loss. That gave them a total of 25 points, one more than their Cariboo rivals the Williams Lake Stampeders. Their other East Division opponents were the Smithers Steelheads with 15 points and the Nechako Northstars out of Vanderhoof with 12 points. Another key statistic for the Roos was goal differential, scoring 94 while only allowing 59 against.

The Kangaroos also came out ahead of the West Division CIHL teams, which saw the Prince Rupert Rampage take first place with 24 points, followed by the Terrace River Kings with 21, the Hazelton Wolverines with 15, and the rebuilding Kitimat Ice Demons with only two points earned in a pair of overtime losses.

With the regular season now complete, the Roos are into the playoffs with some advantages earned from the first place finish.

“We get a bye for finishing first as regular season champions,” said team captain Allessio Tomassetti. “We will play our second round games against either Nechako Northstars or Williams Lake Stampeders.”

Whichever of those teams prevails will host the Kangaroos in their home barn on Feb. 24, with the Roos hosting them the next night, Feb. 25, at West Fraser Centre (WFC) in Quesnel. Should a third and deciding game be needed, it will be in Quesnel on Feb. 26.

Tomassetti said, with only the slimmest of margins between the top teams, and playoff momentum being so powerful, “anything can happen” so the team can’t take any opponent lightly.

The Kangaroos are hosting the Coy Cup this year at WFC, regardless of their playoff finish. One other CIHL team will be there for that tournament, plus two other British Columbia Senior-AA amateur teams. Since the host team gets a bye, it can mean a weaker entry in that showdown, but the Kangaroos organization wanted to win the provincial trophy on home ice, if at all possible. Coming first in the CIHL puts all challengers on notice that the host will be no pushover.

“It’s great for the team. This is what we talked about from Day 1,” said Tomassetti. “We wanted to win the regular season and keep moving forward. The guys have really battled and put in the effort all year. Anything can happen but winning the Coy Cup - that’s our goal.”

The Coy Cup tournament will be played March 28-April 1. You can buy a tournament pass at the Feb. 25 home game, or by messaging the ticket volunteers on the Quesnel Kangaroos page on Facebook. Click here to do that. There are many advantages, including a solid discount on prices and selecting your seat, by purchasing the tournament pass package.

Don’t miss out on the hockey action, if the game you want is sold out.

Read more: Kangaroos off to a strong start this CIHL season

Read more: Make your mark on Coy Cup seating chart in Quesnel