Cowtown calling

Kootenay Ice drop pair to Calgary; will face Hitmen in first round of WHL playoffs

Kootenay Ice

Kootenay Ice

Hockey fans in Cranbrook and Calgary were privy to a little first-round playoff preview this weekend as the Ice and Hitmen went head-to-head in a home-and-home set to wrap up the 2014-15 WHL season.

The Hitmen chewed out two nail-biting victories — 2-1 Friday in Cranbrook and 3-2 Sunday in Calgary — to claim the WHL’s Central Division title and set up a first-round playoff matchup with the Ice.

“We’re trying to finish the season strong and obviously they’re fighting for position in the standings,” said Kootenay Ice goaltender Wyatt Hoflin Friday night. “It’s also that Calgary-Kootenay rivalry that always seems to come out.

“They took it to us good in the second period. Turnovers, lapses in our ‘D’ zone cost us.”

Holfin did all he could Friday, turning aside 29 of 31 shots directed his way, including a jaw-dropper in the second period to keep his team within two goals.

A pair of second-period goals by Loch Morrison and Jordy Stallard couldn’t be pinned on Hoflin as the Hitmen outshot the hosts 19-4 in the middle period.

“We lost it a bit in the second there,” said Kootenay Ice forward Luke Philp Friday. “We did have a good push in the third, in the end we did come close. It was a pretty hard-fought game out there by both teams. Things are starting to really ramp up.

“Every game now is pretty well close to a playoff game…every game is going to have that playoff-like atmosphere out there.”

It was a goaltending battle of sorts Friday night, as starter Brendan Burke did his part to keep the Hitmen in it during a first period in which the Ice outshot the visitors 13-5.

The 20-year-old puck-stopper turned aside 29 of the 30 shots sent his way, en route to a first-star performance.

The only man to beat Burke was 20-year-old Tim Bozon.

With time winding down in the third period, the Montreal Canadiens prospect took a backdoor feed from Sam Reinhart before burying into a gaping cage. With Hitmen defenceman Micheal Zipp and forward Kenton Helgesen both in the sin bin, there was all sorts of space for the Kootenay man advantage and it capitalized.

Unfortunately for the home side, that’s all they were able to muster as Burke shut the door in the final moments as Hoflin sat on the bench for the extra attacker.

Sunday afternoon the Ice and Hitmen battled once again, with Travis Sanheim registering the game-winning goal on a mighty blast from the point with 4:17 remaining the third period.

Sanheim’s 15th of the season gave the Hitmen a 3-2 lead and a late push from the visitors came up empty.

Levi Cable scored his 28th of the season for the Ice, with Reinhart adding his 19th.

Helgesen and Stallard replied for the Hitmen to round out the scoring.

Burke earned his second consecutive victory over the Ice with a 23-save performance.

Hoflin also made 25 stops in a losing effort.

With a record of 37-31-1-3, the Kootenay Ice finish the season fourth in the Central Division, sixth in the Eastern Conference and in the first wild-card slot.

The Ice face the Hitmen in the first round of the WHL post-season, beginning Friday night with Game 1 scheduled for 7 p.m. in Calgary.

 

Just Posted

The latest EKASS survey confirms a steady decline in substance use among EK youth over the years. (image compilation via Pixabay)
Latest survey shows steady decline in adolescent substance use over the years

Starting in 2002, the survey has been conducted every two years to monitor changes in substance use patterns, attitudes and behaviors amongst East Kootenay youth.

The Aquatic Centre at Western Financial Place.
Cranbrook Aquatic Center to close temporarily

The annual shutdown of the Aquatic Center at Western Financial Place will begin earlier than scheduled this year and does not have a defined end date at this time.

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

1914
It happened this week in 1914

June 6 -12: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read