The Quesnel Kangaroos are still learning to ride the fine line between playing passionately and losing control.
On Saturday (Nov. 16), they upset the balance, racking up 23 penalty minutes and a game misconduct in a 5-3 loss to the Williams Lake Stampeders, their long-standing rivals from down south.
“We definitely need to play more disciplined hockey,” says team president, Tyler Coleman. “We’re taking penalties lately that just shouldn’t be taken.
“The more you’re in the box, the more likely it is something bad will happen to you. You just can’t play at a disadvantage all the time.”
Justin Fillion, Alessio Tomasetti and Lane Vandewetering scored for the Roos, who see a two-game win streak snapped.
Fillion beat the Williams Lake goaltender on a blistering shot from the point while the Roos had a two-man advantage to open the scoring in the first period.
Tomasetti, the team captain, netted another to put the Roos up 2-0.
A resilient Stamps squad quickly potted one, with Tristen Sailor scoring their first to half the lead.
Wilf Robbins scored to tie the game at two early in the second period. The teams remained knotted in a tight affair for much of the middle portion of the contest before Ryan Yaworski scored for the Stamps with 5:30 remaining in the game.
The Roos answered two minutes later, with Vandewetering beating Stamps goalie Willie Sellars glove side.
They were unable to capitalize on the momentum, however, as a Mike Wakita slashing penalty resulted in a quick marker for the Stamps’ Darcy Flaherty.
An empty-netter was added when the Roos removed goalie Brandon Peacock for an extra man in desperation time.
Coleman says the team was disappointed in the result, but it was not for lack of effort.
“It was a tight game,” he says. “We still worked hard, we got a couple of weird goals [scored against us] at the end and an empty-netter. It’s stuff we can’t control. You’re not going to win them all, so let’s learn from it and move forward. We play those guys again in December, so we will look to do better then.”
Tommy Grant, one of the team’s top offensive threats, did not suit up. He is recovering from a concussion suffered in his last match against Kitimat.
“It was a weird hit,” Coleman says. “He just collided with the guy in the centre of the offensive zone, and the opposing player’s head was around his chin level, and he just kind of clipped him.”
The team president says Grant is feeling much better, but they do not want to take any risks this early in the season.
“I’d rather he stays out and comes back when we really need him.”
The Roos’ next games will be at home against Smithers and Hazelton on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.