The Steelheads dropped their last game to the Terrace River Kings, bringing the team’s final record to 4-12 for their return of the season to the Central Interior Hockey League (CIHL).
The River Kings got off to a quick start, with Mason Richey scoring a natural hat trick by just over halfway through the first period. Terrace added one more goal before the period was over to bring the score to 4-0.
The Steelheads responded with two early second period goals of their own by Ryan Green and Calvin Johnson to bring the score to 4-2. But that was close as they would get. Terrace added two more goals before the period was over to retake a four-point lead.
The Steelheads added two more in the third, including a second goal by Green and another by Randall Groot, however it wouldn’t be enough to compete with three goals by the home team to bring the final score to 9-6.
Following the game, the River Kings hoisted their regular season championship banner for finishing in first place with a record of 14-2-0-0 and 28 points, three points clear of second place Prince Rupert Rampage at 12-3-1-0. Hazelton took third place followed by Quesnel, Williams Lake, Kitimat and Smithers.
Finishing in last place in the league makes the Steelheads the fifth seed in the West Division. They will play the Kitimat Ice Demons in a wildcard game in Kitimat on Feb. 7 to determine who gets the final playoff spot.
The winner advances to play the number-one seeded River Kings, while Prince Rupert and Hazelton will play each other in a three game series starting Feb. 8.
Quesnel and Williams Lake will play a best of three series for the East Division (Feb. 8, Feb. 15 and Feb. 16, if needed).
Following this, West Division Finals will be held Feb. 21, 22 and 23 (if needed) as a best of three series.
CIHL Finals start on Feb. 29, also as a best of three series, with a second game on March 7 and a third game on March 8, if needed.