Joel Boyetchko moves the puck from in front of the ‘Roos net.

Until next season

‘Roos bid adieau after losses to Williams Lake.

unday, after their second loss to Williams Lake, which ended their playoff dreams, the players heard the news the Terrace River Kings would sneak past them to capture the third spot designated for CIHL teams in the Coy Cup.

“It was a double whammy,” coach Brian Kozak said.

The ‘Roos were in Williams Lake after beating the Stamps in Quesnel and looking to end the series in the second game and the fans were there with them, a fact which the team is very grateful for.

“The fan support was amazing,” Kozak said.

“When we scored it was nearly as loud as when Williams Lake did.”

Williams Lake, however, had their backs against the wall, which meant they went for the throat, while Quesnel found themselves off balance in the period they usually play quite well in.

Leading that charge, in all alone, was Matt Lees, who scored a minute and a half into the first. David Gore, with help from Jassi Sangha and Tyrel Lucas, put another mark on the scoreboard for the Stamps to book end the period at 14:39.

Not letting the two goal lead make them complacent, Williams Lake continued to push their advantage, with Sangha putting in the Stamps third of the night just past halfway into the period, with help from Lucas and Gore.

The three goal lead didn’t kill the ‘Roos initiative though, as Nick Tomassetti, with help from Joel Boyetchko and Curtis Gassoff, scored the first of the night for the ‘Roos seconds later.

Half a minute later, Justin Fulton capitalized on a power play to make it a one goal game, with Alessio Tomassetti and Rigby Burgart getting the helper.

Going into the third, the game was still up for grabs, but the Stamps reached first, netting one early in the period, courtesy of Matt Lees with help from Mike Simoes.

The growing lead forced the ‘Roos into some risky plays which ended up giving Williams Lake the goal when, just before the midpoint, David Gore scored, with Lucas getting the helper.

But Fulton came back once again to blunt the early goals, putting the puck in the net seconds after the Stamps goal, with Burgart and Allessio Tomassetti adding their help.

But the slow pull of the Stamps was drastically increased when the ‘Roos got in penalty trouble late in the period.

Tyler Fuller, Gore and Sangha assisting, and Nathan Zurak, with help from Aaron Zurak, scored a pair of power play goals late in the period to make an unscalable lead, to put the last cap on a 7-3 win.

Sunday, both teams had their backs against the wall and resentments bubbling under the surface.

“It got a little feisty,” Kozak said.

The ‘Roos came out at speed, sending pucks flying off the crossbar but it was Williams Lake who started the scoring off once again mid-way through the first as Stuart Sasges putting the Stamps on the board with help from Tyler Fuller and Andrew Fisher.

David Gordin tied it up for the ‘Roos with half a minute left in the first; Devin Whalen got the helper.

The second, though, was all Williams Lake, as they outshot the ‘Roos 11-5 and outscored them 3-0. Tyrel Lucas started the run short-handed just over eight minutes in, with Sangha getting the nod for the assist.

Nineteen seconds later, Zurak, with help from Lees and McIsaac, followed his lead to put the Stamps up two. Then, just past 13 minutes in, Sangha put in own of his own with Aaron Zurak adding the helper to make an intimidating three-goal lead.

With the trio of goals making a foreboding wall , the ‘Roos lost some discipline late in the second, which bubbled over at the end of the second, with penalties flying to both teams.

After a break to calm down, both teams jumped off the penalty train, and Williams Lake found a couple more goals, with Zurak scoring on the power play and Andrew Fisher following with one of his own within the first ten minutes.

Turgeon tried to start something at the ten minute mark with a goal, but the Stamps blunted it a minute later when Gore scored for the 7-2 win over the Kangaroos, capping the ‘Roos season.

While the season might have ended rather abruptly, Kozak said the team is proud of how they played.

“We worked hard all season,” he said.

And with 12 wins and six losses in the regular season, the team has plenty to be proud of over the course of the season, with a dip after Chritmas, in the form of a loss to the Lac La Hache Tomahawks, killing a seven game win streak and marking their first loss at home over the entire season, keeping them from the Coy Cup.

The ‘Roos tied for third after the regular season, with 24 points,  – tied with the Smithers Steelheads, a point below the second-place Terrace River Kings, and three points below the league-leading Williams Lake Stampeders.

And though it may be over for the time being, the Kangaroos are already looking forward to the upcoming season.

They would also like to thank everyone who made the season possible, from the volunteers to the fans who came out to support their team.

So, have a great non-hockey season and be ready for the ‘Roos to come back at full strength next year.

 

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