Williams Lake Stampeders opener sees Quesnel rivals net a 5-4 win

Stampeders goalie Willie Sellars. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Stampeders goalie Willie Sellars. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Stampeders #5 Richard Macdonald gets ready to fire a team T-shirt out into the crowd during the intermission. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Stampeders #5 Richard Macdonald gets ready to fire a team T-shirt out into the crowd during the intermission. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Down on the knees. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Willie DeVuyst, security and Karen Gertzen, secretary treasurer, chat with #97 Lane Wycotte and #5 Richard MacDonald get ready to fire some T-shirts from the rink into the stands. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Goal judge Brian Crowhurst at his post, something he’s been doing for three years. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Goal judge Brian Crowhurst at his post, something he’s been doing for three years. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Stampeders #16 Kaleb Boyle scores the team's fourth goal of the night, assisted by #18 Chad Wilde. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Kangaroos goalie Ryan Manderson. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Stampeders goalie Willie Sellars stops one of 46 shots on goal during the game. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Stampeders goalie Willie Sellars stops one of 46 shots on goal during the game. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
There’s a new generation of Stampeders playing this season with family ties to the team. Brendan Pigeon (from left) is the great grandson of Sid Pigeon who coached of Stamps, Jax Passeri is the grandson of former Stamps player Phil Larden and Grady Thomas is the grandson of former Stamps player Fred Thomas. Both Phil and Fred grew up playing hockey together in Kelowna and were recruited to come and play for the Stampeders in the early 60’s. They ended up marrying the Twan sisters four months apart and raised their families in the Cariboo. (Williams Lake Stampeders photo)There’s a new generation of Stampeders playing this season with family ties to the team. Brendan Pigeon (from left) is the great grandson of Sid Pigeon who coached of Stamps, Jax Passeri is the grandson of former Stamps player Phil Larden and Grady Thomas is the grandson of former Stamps player Fred Thomas. Both Phil and Fred grew up playing hockey together in Kelowna and were recruited to come and play for the Stampeders in the early 60’s. They ended up marrying the Twan sisters four months apart and raised their families in the Cariboo. (Williams Lake Stampeders photo)
The Williams Lake Stampeders and Quesnel Kangaroos battled it out Saturday night in the home opener. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)The Williams Lake Stampeders and Quesnel Kangaroos battled it out Saturday night in the home opener. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Stampeders #16 Kaleb Boyle scores the team’s fourth goal of the night, assisted by #18 Chad Wilde. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Stampeders #16 Kaleb Boyle scores the team’s fourth goal of the night, assisted by #18 Chad Wilde. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Hockey fans Natalie Swift and Michael Moses cheer on Stamps goalie, Chief Willie Sellars. Sellars made more than 40 saves during the match-up Saturday, Oct. 16. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo)Hockey fans Natalie Swift and Michael Moses cheer on Stamps goalie, Chief Willie Sellars. Sellars made more than 40 saves during the match-up Saturday, Oct. 16. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo)
The Stampeders’ loudest fan, Francis Johnson Sr., brought his drum back to the arena for the season opener Oct. 16. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo)The Stampeders’ loudest fan, Francis Johnson Sr., brought his drum back to the arena for the season opener Oct. 16. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo)

It was an exciting start for hockey fans when the Williams Lake Stampeders, having not played a CIHL game for over a year, scored just moments into their home opener against the Quesnel Kangaroos Saturday night (Oct. 16).

The quick start wouldn’t be enough for the Stampeders, though in the end, as Quesnel overcame the deficit and won 5-4 on the strength of a third period Marshal Brown goal.

Stampeders coach Cody Tent was not disappointed in his team’s efforts.

“I think we played really good,” Tent said after the game. “We’ve got a lot of young players coming up and a lot of these guys have never really played together before.”

The team started to find its groove, he added.

“Unfortunately hockey is a game of balances, we took a bad one at the end and we ended up losing this game. I think that we are going to come back strong and we’re going to have a really good year this year.”

Tent started coaching last year, but with the COVID-19 postponed season the team only had four exhibition games.

“We are on game number five here under my belt, and we are really excited about the season and getting it going.”

Kangaroos coach Harley Gilks thought after taking a year and half off of hockey the game turned out to be OK.

READ MORE: Quesnel Kangaroos dreaming of CIHL three-peat

“Definitely some rough spots on both sides of the ice there — we’ve got a bit of sharpening up to do for sure.”

Kangaroos player Justin Fulton was injured and taken off the ice during the third player.

“He’s a pretty tough kid, he doesn’t usually go down so for him to be carried off like that, I’m hoping it’s nothing crazy.”

Kurtis Bond got the Stampeders on the board in the first minute of the game, assisted by Kaleb Boyle. Lane Wycott doubled the home team’s lead, assisted by Wilf Robbins. Nick Tommasettie assisted by Marshal Brown and Justin Fulton were able to score before the end of the period to tie the game.

Only the Stampeders scored a goal in the second period, a repeat performance by Bond, assisted by Boyle.

The Kangaroos scored just 30 seconds into the third period to tie the game at three, at the hands of Alessio Tommasettie, assisted by Draper, followed by a fourth goal for the team at the ten minute mark by Nick Tommasettie, assisted by Fulton.

With only 7:30 minutes left in the game, Boyle scored the Stampeders’ fourth and final goal, assisted by Chad Wilde, only to be countered a few minutes later Kangaroos Brown, assisted by Patrick Brady giving their team the lead and final goal of the night.

READ MORE: Quesnel Kangaroos crowned 2020 CIHL champions for second straight year

Williams Lake First Nations Chief Willie Sellars was between the pipes for the Stamps, and later called the loss ‘heartbreaking’ but that it was good to have hockey back.

With proof of vaccination and face masks required, a crowd of 344 people took in the game, with many participating in the puck toss, 50-50 draw and enjoying the opportunity to see a live game.

Prior to the home opener, Janna Gertzen, who is in charge of sponsorships and marketing for the Stampeders, said everyone was excited to have hockey back.

“Hockey is just a big part of our lives in Williams Lake in the winter so it will be nice to get a little bit back to normal.”

The next game for the Stampeders is against the Terrace River Kings on Saturday, Oct. 30 in Terrace and on Sunday, Oct. 31 against the Wolverines.

The Kangaroos will be in action on Saturday, Oct. 23 inside the West Fraser Centre.



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