The Kamloops Blazers roll into Cranbrook as the final test for the Kootenay Ice before the holiday break.
“Kamloops is real important seeing as it’s the last [game] before the holidays,” said Ice forward Matt Alfaro after Saturday’s win against the Edmonton Oil Kings. “It’s a big game.”
The Ice climbed back into the WHL playoff picture with Saturday’s 6-3 triumph over their Central Division rival.
A win against the Blazers would push the Ice (17-17-0-0) beyond the .500 mark.
Kamloops arrives in Cranbrook fresh off a 4-2 win over the Lethbridge Hurricanes Sunday afternoon.
Tuesday’s game against the Ice will be the fifth stop on a six-game pre-holiday road trip for the Blazers, who haven’t seen the ice at Interior Savings Centre since the Prince George Cougars handed them a 6-3 defeat Dec. 6. The Blazers close out the road swing Wednesday night in Medicine Hat against the Tigers.
As for the Ice, they look to head into Christmas on a three-game winning streak after dropping their previous Tuesday tilt — a 4-1 decision against Medicine Hat, Dec. 9.
The Ice will be without the services of captain Sam Reinhart (World Juniors), defenceman Dylan Overdyk (concussion, week to week) and defenceman Tanner Faith (upper body, week to week).
Following Tuesday’s contest, the Ice shut things down for the holiday season before returning to action Dec. 27 when the Calgary Hitmen (19-11-1-2) visit Western Financial Place.
Additionally, the WHL’s trade moratorium went into effect Monday at midnight and runs through Dec. 26.