Ice complete road trip with 5-1 loss to Hitmen

Rough start to season as Kootenay comes home with two losses.

So far, the road has not been kind to the Kootenay Ice.

The Ice followed their season-opening loss to the Edmonton Oil Kings with a 5-1 drubbing at the hands of the Calgary Hitmen on Saturday in the Saddledome.

Once again, the Ice gave up the first goal and had to play catch-up, but the Hitmen proved to be too much of a challenge.

Luke Philp was the lone goal scorer for the Kootenay Ice, with an assist to defenceman Joey Leach, who runs his streak to two games.

Ice netminder Mackenzie Skapski made 26 saves in defeat, while Calgary’s Chris Driedger turned away 27 pucks.

The two teams held each other scoreless until the last two minutes of the opening period, when Zane Jones took the puck off a failed wrap-around attempt and fired it into the net.

The Hitmen doubled their lead early in the second frame, when Cody Sylvester drove to the net and tipped in a pass off the wing from Greg Chase.

Philp cut the deficit in half ten minutes later, scoring when he wound up and slapped a shot that deflected off a Hitmen defenceman’s stick.

Calgary opened the throttle in the third period, scoring three goals to put the game out of reach for the Ice.

Darian Henry scored his first career goal, deflecting a shot from Sylvester, who spun and fired the puck at the net from the top of the offensive zone face-off circle.

Jones potted his second of the night, banging in a feed from Brooks Macek, who drove the puck to the net from the wing and dished it off towards the slot.

Macek himself notched the final marker, scoring when his pass, while carving around the net, deflected across the goal line.

Kootenay forward Levi Cable dropped the gloves with Kenton Helgesen, the latter getting the brunt of the discipline with a instigator and a game misconduct.

The Ice were denied on all five power play opportunities, while the Hitmen failed to capitalize on three chances.