CORRECTION: Last week we mistakenly reported the Steelheads had been eliminated from the playoffs. The Interior News apologizes for the error and any confusion it caused.
The Steelheads gave Terrace a run for their money but a late third period goal would give the number one-ranked River Kings the 6-5 edge over the home team Jan. 25.
It was a game of back and forth, with Steelheads centre Brendan Moore finding the back of the net not thirty seconds after Terrace opened up the scoring less than five minutes into the first.
Ethan Tucker would add another goal about halfway through the period to give the boys a 2-1 lead, though the River Kings would answer back with two more goals of their own before the period was over.
Calvin Johnson would open up the scoring in the second, tying the team back up with Terrace at 3-3, however a quick goal in response from the River Kings followed by another later in the period would bring the score to 5-3 in the final seconds of the period.
With only two seconds left Johnson would score another for the boys, bringing them within one.
Moore would add another goal to start the third off, tying the game up once again at five.
It wouldn’t be enough, however, with a powerplay mark scored just halfway through the third by Ben Reinbolt serving as the game-winning goal.
It’s the closest the Smithers team has gotten to beating the first place Terrace team (12-2-0), currently sitting one point ahead of the Prince Rupert Rampage (11-2-1).
They’ll get another whack at the River Kings this Saturday when they take them on in Terrace in the final game of the season.
Playoffs for the Central Interior Hockey League (CIHL) will begin the following week.
Quesnel and Williams Lake will play a best of three series for the East Division (Feb. 8, Feb. 15 and Feb. 16, if needed).
In the West Division, Prince Rupert, Terrace, Kitimat, Hazelton and Smithers will be seeded from one to five by rank.
The fourth and fifth place teams will play each other at the fourth-seeded team’s home arena on Feb. 7.
Currently Smithers is seeded fifth in the West Division, with eight points from 15 games played. As things stand in the division, Kitimat is currently seeded fourth (nine points, 15 games played) and Hazelton is seeded third (15 points, 14 games played).
The winner of the 4-5 game plays off against the number one team while second place plays third to determine the West Division final.
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.