Ice thawed by Winterhawks, Silvertips

The Kootenay Ice ends preseason tournament with three straight losses.

The Kootenay Ice dropped their remaining two games against the Portland Winterhawks and the Everett Silvertips over the weekend at a preseason tournament in Kennewick, WA.

The Winterhawks, fresh off their second consecutive appearance at the WHL final at the end of last season, defeated the Ice 5-2, while the Silvertips squeaked out a close 3-2 win.

Portland outshot the Ice in all three periods as Wyatt Hoflin was put through his paces in making 47 saves, while Brenden Burke earned the win for the Winterhawks, making 22 stops.

Portland scored two consecutive goals in the first period on efforts from Taylor Peters and Oliver Bjorkstrand before the Ice responded, when Spencer Wand notched Kootenay’s first powerplay goal of the exhibition season.

Erik Benoit tied up the score at 2-2 late in the second period on another powerplay goal, but the Winterhawks pulled ahead less than a minute later off an effort from Ty Rattie.

Portland centreman Dominic Turgeon notched a pair of goals in the third period to clinch the win.

Ice forward Levi Cable and defenseman Matt Thomas both earned a point by assisting Benoit’s goal, while Wand’s marker went without any help on the scoresheet.

Saturday’s game against the Silvertips pitted two generations of Chynoweths against each other as the Ice general manager and his club faced a roster that includes his 17-year-old son, Ryan.

Mackenzie Skapski got the start for the Ice, making 26 saves, while Kootenay got 24 shots on goal against Troy Trombley, who stood between the pipes for Everett.

For the third straight time over the three-game road trip, the Ice ceded the first goal when Zach McPhee scored two minutes after the start of the opening period.

Luke Philp answered for the Ice five minutes later with his third goal of the preseason and his second short-handed effort of the road trip.

Ice prospect Kyle Krabben scored his first goal in the WHL early in the second period with help from Jaedon Descheneau and Philp, but the ‘Tips tied up the game near the end of the frame.

Tyler Sandhu broke the draw late in the final period, lifting the Silvertips to the win with less than a minute and a half to go.

The Ice have returned home and will spend the next week sharpening up as a team and possibly making a few more roster releases. The next exhibition game will be in the Crowsnest Pass next Friday as the Ice and the Lethbridge Hurricanes meet halfway to do battle.