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Steelheads 2-0 after disqualification of Northstars season-opening win

The CIHL team is back and looking for a strong return season
The Smithers Steelheads home opener gets under way at “The Pond” Saturday Oct. 15. The home team went on to win 7-4 over the Nechako Northstars. (Facebook screen shot)

UPDATE: Since the publication of this story, the league standings were adjusted to reflect a win for the Steelheads in the first game due to disqualification of the Northstars for playing an illegal player.

After a disappointing overtime loss to the Nechako Northstars last weekend in their season opener in Vanderhoof last weekend, the Smithers Steelheads got even with a crushing win on home ice Oct. 15.

The Steelheads completely dominated the first period on the pond Saturday night taking a 4-0 lead into the second frame.

The Northstars kept it tighter in the second period, but Smithers still managed to increase the lead to 6-1 with two goals to Nechako’s one.

The visitors would rally in the third period with three goals, but the effort was too little, too late as the home team held on for a 7-4 victory.

Scorers for the Steelheads were:

The season opener on the other hand was a tight affair. The Northstars, an expansion team drawing from the Fort St. James, Fort Fraser and Vanderhoof areas, took an early lead with a single goal in the first period.

They would add to the lead in the second period before Ian Crystal put Smithers on the boards with assists from Kodi Schwartz and Brendan Moore.

It would be Crystal again who knotted the game at two at 5:15 of the third period, again from Moore, but also with help from Devon Booth.

The tie was short-lived, however, as less the two minutes later the Northstars were back in the lead 3-2.

But Crystal and Moore were not done. At 10:58 with an assist from Jonathan Cresswell, Crsytal completed the hat trick with a goal that would send the game to OT and ultimately a shootout in which the home team came out on top.

The Steelheads had hoped to return to the CIHL last season, but ongoing pandemic considerations forced them to bow out at the 11th hour after they had already secured support from the Town for a beer garden licence and completed their roster.

Smithers is playing in the eastern division of the CIHL this year along with Nechako, Quesnel Kangaroos and Williams Lake Stampeders.

In the western division, the Terrace River Kings and Prince Rupert Rampage are both off to a 2-o start to the season each with wins over the Kitimat Ice Demons and Hazelton Wolverines.

The next home game is this Saturday, Oct. 22. Puck drops at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door (under 5 and over 65 are free). The Steelheads are operating a beer garden this season (two pieces of ID required).

Thom Barker

About the Author: Thom Barker

After graduating with a geology degree from Carleton University and taking a detour through the high tech business, Thom started his journalism career as a fact-checker for a magazine in Ottawa in 2002.
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