By Dan Mesec - Smithers Interior News
Published: October 07, 2009 8:00 AM
The Smithers Steelheads had a rough but successful home opening weekend, winning both double header games against the Williams Lake Stampeders, to start the season off right and collect a few early points.
After a short delay due to transportation difficulties on the Stampeders behalf the 2009/10 Steelheads season kicked off, but not without a few minor problems.
We played very well, said Steelheads head coach, Gord Young. We had some times where we were too relaxed and it cost us a bit, but we are very pleased of how we played.
Right from the get go on Saturday night the Steelheads were hit hard by the Stampeders, ending the first period with a 3-1 lead. During second period play the Stampeders put another point to make it 4-1 going into the third, however they were in for a big surprise.
Right out of the gate the Steelheads to it to the Stampeders, scoring three unanswered goals in the third, then tying it up again 5-5 to force the competition to overtime.
The kids were nervous to start the game, waiting 45 minutes, cause the Williams Lake bus broke down, said Young. So we had a bit of a rough start, down 4-1 going into the third but we were able to regroup and played like we can play and luckily we battled back and won.
The Steelheads played hard during the five minute overtime period, and two minutes in Ryan Devries scored to secure their home opening game 6-5.
From there the Steelheads carried the momentum right through to the second game Sunday afternoon. They scored a couple of quick goals in the first period, going into intermission up 2-1 over the Stampeders. The Steelheads out-shot the Stampeders 19-4 in the first period, dominating the rink and keeping the game play in Stampeders territory.
However, the Stampeders fought hard in the second and scored three goals to overtake the Steelheads 4-3 at the end of the second. But the Steelheads would not be slowed down in the third.
After a number of penalties on both side of the ice the Steelheads drove one in towards the end of a five on three and tied the game 4-4 with just over nine minutes remaining in the game. In the end, Matt Arnold would put the final nail in the coffin scoring on another power play to make the final score 5-4 Steelheads.
The second game was really good for us, explains Young. We carried on right from the third period in the first game and came right into the next game and took Williams Lake 5-4, we were a little disappointed with the fan turnout so hopefully we can get more out next game.
Considering it was the first regular season games of the year the Steelheads showed they are ready to hit the ice hard this year and produce some strong results.
Were still missing six regulars, that are very good players so that will make the team better, Young said. Theyre a young team and working hard. Weve made a few mistakes but they are being corrected, so there is no reason why we cant go a long way with this team. I still think we are right there with all the top teams.
The Steelheads next home game is this weekend, Saturday October 10, at 7:00 p.m. They will be taking on the Hazelton Wolverines, looking to continue their winning streak into week number two. Come out and support the home town Steelheads. Go Steelies Go!