The Steelheads wrapped up the regular season on a winning note with a 11-6 drubbing of the Prince Rupert Rampage last Saturday evening at Smithers Civic Arena.
There was never any love lost between these two opponents and the Rampage were on the warpath after a loss to the Steelies the previous weekend in Prince Rupert.
The locals exhibited a full bench in front of a vigorous crowd looking for more of the exciting play the Steelheads have been demonstrating all season but particularly in the recent part of the schedule.
Ryan Green and Joel Gellvear led the team on the attack with a hat trick each that seemed to jump start the Steelhead bench.
Ryan Green (8) and Joel Gellvear (17) each scored a hat trick versus Prince Rupert Saturday.
Not to be outdone, Cory Cloutier and Randall Groot each hit the twine for a pair each. Brendan DeVries rounded out the offensive output for the Steelheads.
For the visitors, Tyler Matalone and Rory Movold netted a pair each with Marcus Atchison and Jared Meers each adding a singleton.
With a 9-2 lead going into the third, Steelheads head coach Tom DeVries gave backup Lucas Wray some time between the pipes where he got some valuable experience that may come in handy during the playoffs. Regular goalie David Little leads the league with almost double the minutes of the next goalie and in wins.
Coach DeVries was pleased with the performance of the team as they head into the playoffs.
“It looks like we’ll be playing Quesnel in the first round. We play there and then at home. If we need a third game, it will be here,” he said.
As far as expectations go, DeVries said, “Once you’re in the playoffs, it’s a whole new game.”
He felt that the league had demonstrated a lot of parity throughout the season with no one team being a dominant force. Home-and-home series have often produced split results with host teams usually being the winners.
The Steelheads have shown they pack the scoring punch they’ll need to get through to the next round. Brendan DeVries, Adam DeVries and Joel Gellvear all appear in the top 10 in the scoring race with 32 goals and 75 total points between them. Gellvear ranks second in the goal scoring department.
Coach DeVries feels that the playoffs will continue to provide the Steelheads fans with the exciting style of hockey they have come to expect.
Games for the playoffs have not yet been scheduled.
Captain Randall Groot was a force cutting through the middle and in scrums along the boards.