A shot from Ice winger Zak Zborosky (#22) eludes the glove of Winterhawks goaltender Adin Hill (#31) during first period action Saturday night.

A shot from Ice winger Zak Zborosky (#22) eludes the glove of Winterhawks goaltender Adin Hill (#31) during first period action Saturday night.

Ice battle Winterhawks hard in overtime loss

Kootenay Ice take high-flying Portland Winterhawks to overtime, but fall after last-minute dagger from Rihards Bukarts

The Kootenay Ice managed to shut down Rihards Bukarts right up until the last play of the game. Unfortunately, that was the only opportunity the overage import needed.

With 3-on-3 overtime entering its final minute, the 5-foot-9 Latvian cruised across the Kootenay blueline before unleashing a wicked wrist shot that beat goaltender Wyatt Hoflin over the shoulder and under the cross bar to give the visiting Portland Winterhawks a 4-3 victory Saturday night at Western Financial Place.

“The fact that we’re that competitive in that game, and I understand it’s the end of their [road] trip and they’re probably a little slow, but we played the majority of the night with nine forwards and six defencemen,” said Luke Pierce, head coach of the Kootenay Ice, Saturday night. “Our guys were a little bit gassed, but our will compete and stay in it [is a positive].

“I thought we were a lot more responsible today. It gives you that little bit of encouragement that there’s still hope to keep working and that they want to get better and that we’re capable of being a better team.

“It’s too bad you don’t get rewarded with a win. It’s hard to reinforce your message when you lose the game, but I think the guys will look back on it and realize they did a lot of good things.”

Pierce started the game one skater short before losing Roman Dymacek to injury late in the first period. Then in the early stages of the third period, defenceman Troy Murray left down the tunnel after a scary incident, that for the most part, went relatively undetected in the building.

Murray laid a heavy hit on Winterhawks forward Alex Schoenborn in front of the Kootenay crease. Schoenborn went crashing into the post and appeared to take the worst of the impact on the play, but it was actually Murray who ended up on the scary end of the incident.

Of no fault to Schoenborn, his skate came up as he was sent airborne and clipped the Ice defender in the neck. According to Pierce, no major artery was struck and though there was plenty of blood, Murray is okay outside of needing stitches and time to heal.

“That was a pretty scary incident,” Pierce said. “He took a skate to the throat and luckily it missed everything vital there. But a real scary incident for him and for our whole team. To see a guy leave the bench — there was a lot of blood and stuff going on — so it was good news to hear that he just needs some stitches, most likely.”

Schoenborn was a pest all night long, finishing the game with two goals and two assists to his credit.

First, he opened the scoring for Portland, converting on a turnover in Kootenay territory. Bursting into the slot, Schoenborn fired a quick snap that beat Hoflin low blocker for a 1-0 lead 9:11 into the first period.

After the Winterhawks jumped into the lead, the reunited ‘A-to-Z’ line featuring Matt Alfaro, Jesse Zaharichuk and Zak Zborosky got to work turning things around.

First, Zborosky forced a turnover that Zaharichuk pounced on in the slot, sending a wrist shot past the blocker of Hill to knot the game 1-1  at the 13:51 mark. Not even a minute later, it was Zaharichuk feeding Zborosky, who burned down the left wing before putting the puck past Winterhawks goaltender Adin Hill to thrust the hosts into a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes of play.

“It was hard early on to try and figure out who to play them against,” Pierce said of his top line. “[Portland] has two real good lines there… We tried to play them as best we could against both their top lines, but I thought they were real responsible and that’s what led to a lot of their offensive opportunities.”

Noah Philp extended the hosts advantage to 3-1 only 1:11 into the second period, as an errant Portland pass landed right on his tape in front of Hill. The rookie pivot slid the fortuitous bounce through the legs of the Winterhawks netminder to give the hosts a two-goal edge.

But the Winterhawks didn’t go away.

Schoenborn grabbed his second goal of the night at the 5:39 mark to make it 3-2 before defenceman Blake Heinrich unleashed a blast late in the period to tie the game 3-3. With a wall of bodies in front, Hoflin never got eyes on the long point shot.

A back-and-forth third period saw chances at both ends of the rink, though no one was able to solve Hill or Hoflin.

By the end of the night, Hill made 32 saves on 35 shots to collect his 30th win of the campaign, while Hoflin turned aside 28 shots at the other end.

Notes: The Kootenay Ice scratched RW Jaedon Descheneau (shoulder), RW Austin Gray, RW River Beattie and C Dylan Stewart (concussion) Saturday… The Portland Winterhawks went without the services of LW Paul Bittner, RW Evan Weinger, D Carter Czaikowski and C Skyler McKenzie… 2,093 was the announced attendance Saturday in Cranbrook… It was Jersey Off the Back Night at Western Financial Place. A total of $8,670 was raised for the Kootenay Ice Education Fund as players’ game-worn sweaters were auctioned off throughout the night…

 

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

1914
It happened this week in 1914

June 13 - 19: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Bella Bella is on B.C.’s Central Coast, accessible only by air and ocean. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
B.C. provides $22 million for Heiltsuk development on Central Coast

Elders care home project, tourism, lumber mill supported

Most Read