The Hazelton Wolverines handed the Quesnel Kangaroos only their second loss of the CIHL season of the year on a road trip last weekend.
Hazelton roared out of the gates on Dec. 3 in Quesnel putting up 3-0 lead in the first period on goals from Sean Maktaak, Tanner Wort and Rob Raju.
The second period was a scoreless affair right up to the end, but a marker for the home team at 18:50 brought them to within two with momentum going into the third.
Wort and Tyson Ghostkeep quickly quelled that, though, as the added to the lead with two goals with the first three minutes of the third period.
The East Division-leading Roos kept fighting, however, and would add three more to one for Hazelton to trail 6-4 with less than a minute to play.
But Wort was not done. At 19:17 of the final frame he capped off the hattrick with assists from Maktaak and Declan Douthart and a 7-4 victory.
Travelling with a short bench would catch up with the Hazelton squad the next day (Dec. 4) in Williams Lake against the Stampeders.
The Wolverines got off to a slow start falling behind early before clawing their way back to a three-goal deficit late in the third.
Pulling goalie Colby Jephson did not help as the Stampeders dropped one in the empty net to finish Hazelton off with a 7-4.
The win and loss puts the Wolverines (3-4-0-1) solidly in third place in the CIHL’s West Division, still six points up on the hapless Kitimat Ice Demons (0-8-0-1) who have yet to win a game this season.
They are also only two points back from the defending champion Terrace River Kings who are having mixed success this year with a 4-3-0-1 record.
The Prince Rupert Rampage currently have a lock on first place in the league with only one loss on the season that also coming in Williams Lake this past weekend 5-3.
Hazelton does not play again until Dec. 17 when they travel to Kitimat.
Meanwhile, the East Division is rounding into a tight battle for dominance, with Quesnel, Williams Lake and Smithers Steelheads sitting at 12, 11 and 10 points respectively with the Steelheads having a game in hand.
Smithers will play that game this weekend (Dec. 11) at home against the River Kings. Game time is 12 p.m. Tickets are $10.