Defenceman Eric Smith prepares for game two against the Terrace River Kings on Saturday.

Steelheads make early exit from playoffs

The Smithers Steelheads won’t be going for the four-peat this year.

The Smithers Steelheads won’t be going for the four-peat this year after the team lost 4-3 to the Terrace River Kings in a do-or-die game on the road over the weekend.

It was a problem that plagued the team the entire season and eventually did them in: a short bench.

“We had a pretty limited lineup again,” said assistant coach Darryl Devries. “It’s a working man’s league and I’d say our top four to five players had to go out and work in the last week. That was a big loss for us.”

On Saturday, the team suited up and made the trek to Terrace with just 12 players for game two of the best-of-three series —  a far cry from the full bench they had during last week’s home game.

Penalties got the team into trouble early with Devon Hayhurst taking a penalty in the first.

The River Kings wasted no time capitalizing on the powerplay with a shot from forward Jordan Peddle past netminder David Little to open the scoring.

Seven minutes later, forward Brendan Devries drew a tripping penalty and rookie Jayden Janzen  beat goalie Patrick Leal to even it up.

In the second, the River Kings doubled their lead to make it 4-2, one of which was a short-handed goal.

“A lot of players from our third and fourth lines really stepped up for us and they did a great job,” said Devries.

In the end, the River Kings staved off elimination, winning 5-3 to force game three the following day.

For Sunday’s game, the return of defenceman Ian Smith helped the team out on the back end.

Coach Devries had to rely on Randall Groot on both defence and offence, starting him on the blueline, before moving him back to forward in one last push to get them on the board in the final frame.

“Playing [defence] I was just keeping it simple, and then I got to go up front the last 10 minutes and  the puck bounced my way and I was able to bury my chances,” said Groot. “We almost came back.”

Their early exit from the playoffs marks the end of yet another season.

“We really develop year in and year out,” said Devries.

“The new players that come in, they develop that same energy and ways to win.”


Just Posted

Ramona Wilson Memorial Walk: Twenty-five years, but still no closure

“What we’re standing for today is that nobody is going to sweep this under the rug, nobody.”

Muheim class repeats 2017 award for interaction with seniors

Liliana Pesce’s Grade 4-5 class honoured by BC Retired Teachers Association

Bulkley Valley U14 boys soccer squad wins zones

The Rapids will now proceed to provincial championship in Prince George July 4-5

Donaldson announces seal coating for portions of Hwy 16, Kispiox

Two sections of road in the Bulkley Valley have had their fate sealed.

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

B.C. Interior First Nation family ‘heartbroken’ over loss of young mom

RCMP have released no new information since the June 8, 2019 homicide

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

Most Read