It wasn’t pretty, but the Quesnel Kangaroos left Lac La Hache with another two points to extend their early season winning streak to four.
“It wasn’t pretty but we got the win,” Kangaroos coach Win Winofsky said of the ‘Roos 4-2 win over the host Tomahawks.
“We weren’t finishing our chances.”
Considering the Tomahawks had given up 32 goals in their first three games, there were expectations of a high scoring affair.
However, the Tomahawks started the season with the bare minimum number of players on the bench, but managed to fill the bench for the game against the ‘Roos.
“They were definitely a stronger team,” Winofsky said.
The Saturday night game in Lac La Hache started with a bang, as Joey MacDonald earned a boarding penalty just under six minutes into the first frame.
In addition to catching the attention of the referee, the infraction also caught the eye of the Tomahawks.
When the dust settled the referee sent three Tomahawks and two ‘Roos to their respective sin bins.
The Kangaroos were first to hit the scoreboard, thanks to Joel Boyetchko’s goal at 15:51 of the first period, his second of the season.
The Tomahawks tied the game 1-1 six minutes into the second period on a goal by David Archie, but Paul Girodat put the ‘Roos back up at 2-1 with a goal at 16:21. Dan Kirkham got the assist on the play.
The ‘Roos went up 3-1 with less than four minutes to play in the third period with Rigby Burgart’s third goal in as many games.
Burgart, who joined the ‘Roos for the second game of the season, now has six points (3G, 3A) in three games.
“He’s a huge part of this team,” Winofsky said.
“He comes to play every game, every shift and that rubs off on the other guys.
“He’s a tough guy, but he has skill, speed and he can pull the trigger.”
Ryan Minnabarriet closed the gap for the Tomahawks just 20 seconds later, but Alessio Tomassetti rounded out the scoring to send the ‘Roos to the dressing room with a 4-2 win.
Tomassetti leads all ‘Roos with nine points (3 G, 6A) in four games.
Ryan Manderson picked up his third win between the pipes for the ‘Roos. He turned aside 27 of 29 shots and boosted his save percentage to .904.
“He’s played really well for us,” Winofsky said of his netminder.
“Everybody’s playing well.
“We’ve got a good team and a great bunch of guys.”
What has impressed Winofsky thus far in the young CIHL season is the dedication and commitment he’s received from his players.
The win gives the ‘Roos eight points and first place in the CIHL East Division, two points up on the Williams Lake Stampeders with a 3-1 record.
Saturday, the Kangaroos travel to Williams Lake to face the Stampeders, a game Winofsky said would be a solid test for his team.
“They’ve got some hot shot players,” Winofsky said.
“They have eight or nine top-level players.”
For his part, Winofsky said he really can place expectations on his players, especially considering they can only secure ice time once a week to practice.
Given that the players have jobs, not all of them can make the practice, that alone, Winofsky said makes their achievements thus far this season exceptional.
“We need more ice time, some of the guys are going to public skating just to get more ice time in,” Winofsky said with an exasperated tone.
“They play as hard as they can, that is all I can expect.”
Game time in Williams Lake is 7:30 p.m.