The Kootenay ICE will look to get into the win column this weekend with back-to-back games against the Red Deer Rebels and the Prince Albert Raiders.
To start the weekend, the ICE take on the Rebels at Western Financial Place on Nov. 23. Red Deer is currently first in the central division with a 15-5-1 record.
“I know we can play with them, but can we beat them? We have to raise the level of our game to beat them and we haven’t done that yet,” said head coach James Patrick.
Patrick noted Brandon Hagel has been a player to watch out for.
The ICE previously played Red Deer on Nov. 17 and lost 5-4 in overtime. That was the second game in a three-game in three nights period, where the ICE couldn’t manage to come out with a win.
“Of the three games, obviously Red Deer was our best game. It was a group effort, I thought all four lines competed hard, all four lines contributed, but we still gave up too many chances,” he said.
Going into the weekend’s games, Patrick said the team will have to play better defensively.
“We need to clean up the area right around our net. We didn’t do a good enough job collapsing – our forwards to help out our [defence] … I believe if we clean up that area it gives us as good a chance as any,” said Patrick.
On Nov. 24 the team will battle the powerful Prince Albert Raiders when they are in town. The Raiders are 22-1 on the season and are tough competition for anyone.
“They are the cream of the crop in the west, and it’s a challenge,” said Patrick adding they will have to break the game into segments and to make extremely smart decisions with the puck.
Peyton Krebs did not play in two of the weekend games, and was told on Sunday he was day-to-day. Patrick said he is coming along, but not ready for this weekends play.
“His legs are good. We have been able to skate. He’s working in every area that he can out there and hopefully the injury is going to heal. He is doing everything possible to come back as quick as possible. It probably won’t be this weekend so we are just working on his conditioning,” he said.
Friday’s game will also be the ICE Food Drive Night.
Fans will be able to drop off non-perishable food items and cash donations prior to the game. Bins will be located in the mezzanine at Western Financial Place. As well fans can drop off donations in a Cranbrook Dodge vehicle that will be located outside of Western Financial Place prior to the game.
Everyone who donated cash or a non-perishable food item at the game will receive a 15 per cent off voucher for a walk-up ticket to Saturday’s game.
Puck drop for Nov. 23 will be 7 p.m. at Western Financial Place.