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Ice Demons visitors both short of players - butmanage two different outcomes - a loss and a win
The Houston Luckies traveled short-handed to Kitimat, with only 11 skaters and two goaltenders and dropped a 9-2 decision, with Ice Demons, who were icing a rookie goaltender in his first game with the team. Kitimat's newcomer, Tony Losier faced a total of 29 shots, allowing two goals in the first period, which ended in a 2-2 tie, but settled down for the next two periods allowing no more goals.
But Houston's Colton Wardrop surrendered five goals in the first and second period on 26 Ice Demons shots and his replacement in the third gave up four more goals as Demons parlayed their manpower advantage for a big Win.
For the Ice Demons, Ian Coleman (Nick Markowsky, Steven Veman) and Ben Rumley (unassisted), scored in the first period, while Houston's scorers were Blair Dinelle (Dave Jellett, Kurt Strimbold) on a power play, and Randy Szidlik (Blair Dinelle, Brad Crump)
In the second the Ice Demons added goals by Steve Venman (unassisted), Chris Vilness (Joe Morgan) and Derek DeLisser (Joe Morgan, Josh Slanina)to make it 5-2 at the end of the second.
Brock Hendrickson faced 14 Demons shots in the third and gave up goals to Terry Whelan (Ben Rumley, Joel Findlay), Derek Wakita (Terry Whelan) Nick Markowsky (Steven Venman, Ian Coleman) and a second by Terry Whelan (Ben Rumley, Derek Wakita). Demons had a total of 40 shots, as Houston tired in the third.
On Sunday afternoon, after losing a shootout game in Prince Rupert Saturday night, the Smithers Steelheads also came into Tamitik with just 11 skaters -- but turned the tables on the Demons holding a 2-0 lead at the end of the second after a scoreless first period, and finishing with a 5-2 win.
The rebuilding Demons, with a full bench and veteran goalie Brett Vilness between the pipes, employed the same tactics that resulted in goals Saturday, fast rushes and hard shots, but were less successful.
They were slow to react to the different situations as this game progressed --and they slid further into a hole.
They found themselves rebuffed time and again as the big slap shots were directed at Tyler Perreault in the Smithers net. Perreault was big in the net and stopped first shots with a great butterfly, while the defense took away rebounds.
There was no scoring until into the 10th minute of the second period when Darryl Young finished off passing action by Adam Devries to give the lead to Smithers, against the run of play.
The speedy Demons stepped up the pressure with more big slappers from the outside and Perreault stopped what wasn't blocked and the defense stayed tight in formation.
Four minutes later Smithers went two up on a second goal by Darryl Young and you could see Kitimat unravel as the game plan didn't seem to be working.
It didn't help when Joe Morgan and Derek DeLisser both took penalties after the play with just 2.08 left in the second. Morgan got two for a slash and DeLisser four minutes for a high stick that drew blood. Despite the shortfall, Vilness saved his best saves for the penalty kill and Demons survived the four minutes into the third.
Later in the third period, Smithers added goal three, this time a point shot looped in on net that went into Brett Vilness's glove and spun out into the net for an unassisted goal by Eric Smith.
Three minutes later Ian Smith poked a dribbler over the line in a scrum in front of Vilness, again with assists to Young and Adam Devries and with just five minutes left Adam Devries piled on the agony giving Smithers a five goal lead (assists to Spencer Brooks, Darryl Young).
Vets and youngsters on the Ice Demons, having directed 30 shots at Perreault were becoming increasingly frustrated as Smithers had five goals on had 31 shots with a minute remaining.
With just 55 seconds remaining Terry Whelan finally beat Perreault shoulder high, (Ben Rumley, Derek Wakita) to spoil the shutout. Whelan and his counterpart #6 Cody Sutherland both took slashing penalties with 47 seconds left. Then with just six seconds left, Josh Slanina slapped a second puck from the blue line behind Perreault, off the post to make the final 5-2..
That resulted in a match penalty for a spear assessed to William DeJong on Ryan Green before the teams could line up for another face-off and a major and a game to Green also for fighting while josh Slanina and Randall Groot got two each for roughing after the whistle and referee Noble let the clock run out. after all the grappling and pushing and shoving was over.
In what had been to the last minute a bumpy hard-hitting,but fairly penalty free game, with no power play goals, total penalties wound up at 23 minutes for Kitimat and 27 minutes for Smithers.