Wearing their Cranbrook Colts jerseys for the last time, the Kootenay Ice hosted the Medicine Hat Tigers on March 15 for their second last game of the season.
A three-goal first period was all the Tigers needed en route to a 5-2 win over the Ice.
“Obviously it’s a loss and it’s hard for the guys mentally, but I really liked the effort int he second half of the game,” said head coach James Patrick.
The Tigers opened up the scoring against the Ice late in the first period, with Tyler Preziuso getting one behind Jesse Makaj, but the Tigers weren’t done.
Ryan Jevne added a tally on his own, and Ryan Chyzowski redirected the puck to get a power play goal, giving the Tigers a 3-0 lead at the end of 20 minutes.
The Ice were outshot 21 to nine in the first period.
Not much-scoring action in the second frame, but the Tigers did add to their lead as Linus Nassen scored to make it 4-0 just as a tripping penalty to Brad Ginnell expired.
Makaj was busy again in the second period and saw another 21 shots.
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The Ice came out stronger in the third period, and Marco Creta was able to get Kootenay on the board, with helpers from Peyton Krebs and River Fahey.
Holden Kodak scored his second goal of the season to get the Ice within two making it 4-2.
“I was just going to the net and Cole Muir did a great job driving wide,” said Kodak about his third-period goal.
“Brad [Ginnell] made a nice chip and I was just going to the net with my stick on the ice, and was lucky to squeak through there, finally.”
But Brett Kemp had the empty net goal to give the Tigers the 5-2 win.
“I thought a couple of guys really stepped it up. That first play by Peyton [Krebs] it seemed to light a fire for our guys … I thought the third period was outstanding,” said Patrick.
Connor McClennon and Krebs had multiple chances in the third period, with Krebs finishing the night with five shots on goal, while McClennon had two.
Jesse Makaj faced 55 shots throughout the night, while Tigers goaltender Mads Sogaard saw 31 shots.
“I thought Jesse was outstanding,” said Patrick “Definitely in the first half of the game he stood tall in there.”
Their season and time in Cranbrook will come to an end on March 17 as they face off against the Red Deer Rebels.
“I’ve loved it here in Cranbrook,” said Ginnell. “I just want to play hard for the people of Cranbrook and hopefully we can pull out a win.”
Puck drop is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Western Financial Place.