The Kootenay ICE fought for a much-needed win against the Saskatoon Blades on Saturday night.
Even with the battle and pressure, the ICE lost 2-1 to the Blades.
“We just couldn’t find a way to get it in the back of the net. A lot of emotion, a lot of intensity in the game you could feel it on the bench. Real hard loss because the points are slipping away, but I thought the effort was really good,” said head coach James Patrick.
With an early power play, the ICE looked to get on the board, but couldn’t find a way to get one past Nolan Maier.
With even play through half of the first, the Blades were able to find a way to slip one past Jesse Makaj.
“That’s hockey it happens,” said Makaj. “I probably should have been a little bit harder on the boards, but still an unlucky goal”
The last two minutes of the first saw plentiful penalties going both ways. The Blades had a four on three power play, but it was ICE forward Cole Muir who got a breakaway to get the shorthanded goal and tie it with one minute left in the first.
Weird bounces happening throughout the game, ended up being a backbreaker and giving the Blades a 2-1 with the puck being knocked in by Seth Bafaro.
“I’ve never seen that happen before,” said Makaj about the goal.
“It’s pretty frustrating but I thought our team played really solid.”
Going into the third down a goal the ICE looked to come out hard and even it up.
With multiple chances for the ICE, nothing could get past Maier, who seemed to have all the bounces go his way.
The ICE would lose 2-1, after putting pressure on the Blades.
“I thought we played a really good game tonight. We had a lot of chances that shows how we can play with some of the top teams in the league. Obviously, it wasn’t the outcome we wanted but we have to get to the paint a little bit more and start banging in some pucks, hopefully, we get a little more puck luck. That game could have gone either way,” said Jonathan Smart.
This game was also the 200th regular season WHL game the defenceman.
“It’s kind of crazy how time flies. It’s my fourth year in this league, and it seems like just yesterday I was a 16-year-old coming in. It’s crazy to see where I am now and it’s exciting,” said Smart.
Looking for a rebound game on Nov. 11 the ICE will head to Calgary to play the Hitmen.
“I hope we can get a good rest. These three and three, especially with an afternoon game tomorrow is going to be tough. Obviously tomorrow we will need four lines and short shifts. Might have to simplify our game a little bit and try to play real smart,” said Patrick.