Luke Philp and the Kootenay Ice look to string together back-to-back wins for the first time this season when the Edmonton Oil Kings visit Western Financial Place.

Luke Philp and the Kootenay Ice look to string together back-to-back wins for the first time this season when the Edmonton Oil Kings visit Western Financial Place.

Consistency comes calling

The Kootenay Ice look to string together back-to-back wins for the first time this season when the Edmonton Oil Kings visit town

Taylor Rocca

On the heels of snapping a seven-game losing skid, the Kootenay Ice look to string together back-to-back wins for the first time this season when the Edmonton Oil Kings visit Western Financial Place Friday night at 7 p.m.

“We know what we have to do tomorrow,” said forward Luke Philp prior to practice Thursday afternoon. “We’re ready to play. We’ve got to get on a bit of a roll here. It’s hard when you’re winning one, losing one, or losing a bunch in a row.”

The Ice will be boosted by the return of Sam Reinhart, who joined the team for the first time this season prior to practice Wednesday afternoon. The 19-year-old native of North Vancouver started the season with the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres. After registering one assist in nine games, the second-overall selection from the 2014 NHL Entry Draft was returned to the Ice.

“You see guys’ moods start to lift a bit when you get a player like that back,” Philp said.

“It helps confidence-wise. It was good to get that last win against Lethbridge, but before that, confidence maybe wasn’t all there. [Reinhart’s return] definitely helps with that a lot.”

The Ice are coming off an uplifting 6-5 overtime victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes last Saturday, in which forward Jaedon Descheneau scored an electrifying tally to win the game in extra time.

As for the Oil Kings, they enter Friday’s contest having been on the road since Oct. 29. If you include the road trip-opening 4-3 overtime loss to the Spokane Chiefs, Edmonton has lost all five outings to this point on its seven-game swing. The Oil Kings wrap up the lengthy stretch on the road Saturday night when they visit the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

“We know what that team’s about, they’re a really good team,” Philp said. “They show up to play every night and nothing is going to be easy. We’ve got to be ready for a battle.”

While the Ice get a boost from Reinhart as well as the expected return of Tim Bozon who has put his lower-body injury issues to rest, a key cog on the blue line will be missing.

Defenceman Tanner Faith was sidelined after getting tangled up with Rebels defenceman Devan Fafard in Kootenay’s 7-3 loss to Red Deer last Friday. He is expected to be out for four weeks with an upper-body injury.

“He’s a big body, really strong and physical,” Philp said of Faith. “He plays that physical game and not many guys want to deal with him. It’s a tough loss for us [not having him].”

Not only are the Ice without the services of Faith on the backend, defenceman Tyler King remains out for another week due to a lower-body injury. Forward Jon Martin also remains on the shelf with an upper-body injury.

After Friday’s engagement with the Oil Kings, the Ice host the Swift Current Broncos (10-8-0-2) Saturday night at 7 p.m.

Should forward Austin Vetterl dress in both games this weekend, Saturday night will mark the 150th game of his Kootenay Ice career. The 20-year-old Surrey native has played in 219 games in his WHL career. After playing 71 games with the Vancouver Giants, Vetterl was dealt to the Ice Nov. 1, 2012.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Hugs and slugs
Second Wave Hugs & Slugs: Stay calm, be kind

Hugs: Huge Hugs for Harriet Pollock for the 35 years of participation… Continue reading

A laboratory technician holds a dose of a COVID-19 novel coronavirus vaccine candidate that’s ready for trial on monkeys at the National Primate Research Center of Thailand. (Mladen Antonov - AFP)
Interior Health reports 66 new COVID-19 infections

570 cases are active; 18 in hospital

Chris testing out the potential new van with his caregiver Kerry. Photo submitted.
Kimberley man starts GoFundMe for urgently needed wheelchair accessible van

Christopher Green, a Kimberley native currently residing in Tata Creek, has launched… Continue reading

(stock photo)
Josh Dueck named Team Canada chef de mission for 2022 Beijing Paralympics

An acclaimed Paralympic champion with local roots has been named to a… Continue reading

A woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 uses walking sticks while walking up a hill, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Interior Health reports 83 more COVID-19 infections overnight

46 cases are now associated with a COVID-19 community cluster in Revelstoke

Janet Austin, the lieutenant-governor of British Columbia, not seen, swears in Premier John Horgan during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. Horgan says he will look to fill gaps in the federal government’s sick-pay benefits program aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. premier says province prepared to patch holes in new federal sick-pay benefits

Horgan said workers should not be denied pay when they are preventing COVID-19’s spread

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

Most Read