Ice end preseason with two wins

Roster shrinks to 25 with the release of a forward and a defenceman.

Kootenay Ice prospect Collin Shirley takes the puck around the net with Lethbridge Hurricanes defenseman Spencer Galbraith in hot pursuit at a preseason game in the Crowsnest Pass on Friday. The Ice beat the Hurricanes 5-4 and wrapped up exhibition play on Sunday with a 5-4 come-from-behind win against the Calgary Hitmen.

Kootenay Ice prospect Collin Shirley takes the puck around the net with Lethbridge Hurricanes defenseman Spencer Galbraith in hot pursuit at a preseason game in the Crowsnest Pass on Friday. The Ice beat the Hurricanes 5-4 and wrapped up exhibition play on Sunday with a 5-4 come-from-behind win against the Calgary Hitmen.

After losing all three games at the Tri-City tournament a week ago, the Ice squeaked out two wins over the weekend to wrap up the exhibition season.

The Ice won both games at scores of 5-4, the first against the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Friday and the second against the Calgary Hitmen on Sunday.

“It’s nice to see that there’s been progression from last weekend to this weekend, so it was good for their confidence to have some success,” said Ice assistant coach Chad Kletzel.

Two prospects were released Sunday evening as the club sent defenseman Jordan Steenbergen, 16, back to the Red Deer Rebels of the Alberta Midget Hockey League, while Doug Morris, 17, will go to a team yet to be determined.

Steenbergen was a third-round pick in the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft, while Morris has been listed with the Ice for the last few years.

It was the final chance for the Ice coaching staff to get a hard look at the prospects before opening the regular season on the road this weekend with games in Edmonton and Calgary.

“It gives us another opportunity in a game situation to see how guys perform and give a good overall perspective of their game and what they bring,” said Kletzel.

Sam Reinhart scored the game-winner on the powerplay as the Ice edged out the Hurricanes 5-4 on Friday to a packed barn at the Coleman Sports Complex in the Crowsnest Pass.

Both teams traded goals throughout the first two periods, but Reinhart’s second goal of the game proved to be the difference maker.

Goaltender Wyatt Hoflin got the win, stopping 33 shots, while Christopher Tai and Tanner Kovacs split duties for the Hurricanes and collectively made 26 saves.

Morris opened the scoring after causing a turnover in the offensive zone and sneaking a shot past Tai at a sharp angle early into the frame.

The Hurricanes tied it up and took the lead when Brady Ramsay got a pair of goals three minutes apart late in the first period.

However, the Ice ended the period all tied up when Erik Benoit scored an empty net goal with 15 seconds left after the puck took a lucky bounce off a stanchion in the corner while the goaltender was out to play it.

Tyler Wong put the Hurricanes ahead in the second period, tipping a shot from the point over Hoflin’s shoulder. However, the Ice tied it up when Reinhart scored his first by one-timing a feed from Brock Montgomery in the slot near the halfway mark of the period.

Ice prospect Collin Shirley scored his first preseason goal to take the lead with three minutes to go in the period after a mad scramble in the Hurricanes’ crease.

Reid Duke managed to find the equalizer with 11 seconds left in the frame, beating an Ice defenseman in a footrace and sneaking a shot past Hoflin.

Reinhart sealed the win with his powerplay marker in the dying minutes of the third period.

Montgomery and Axel Blomqvist dropped the mitts in the final period for a bout, but the Hurricanes’ Swedish import got more than he bargained for as the Ice forward landed a few big punches during the fight.

The Ice capitalized on two powerplays in seven chances, while the Hurricanes scored once in six opportunities.

Jaedon Descheneau and Montgomery both scored a pair of goals as the Ice overcame a four-goal deficit in the third period to come back and beat the Hitmen 5-4 on Sunday.

Despite the hole, it was the Ice who struck first as prospect Kyle O’Conner scored his second goal of the preseason to give the Ice the lead after one period.

However, the second period was all Hitmen, with four even-strength goals coming from Greg Chase, Trevor Cheek, Austin Cadalline and Brady Brassart.

The Ice staunched the bleeding in the third, mounting a comeback as Montgomery and Descheneau scored four minutes apart in the early part of the period, The same two notched another pair of powerplay markers less than a minute apart with seven minutes to go, with Descheneau getting the game-winner.

Mackenzie Skapski got the start and the win, stopping 24 shots, while Mack Shields took the loss while making 22 saves in defeat.

Kletzel said there were things he liked about the team’s play, while noticing areas for improvement during the weekend.

“We had different times in games where we battled back and we showed how we could play in regards to tempo and forechecking,” Kletzel said.

“[But] some things for areas of improvement are consistency in our play, we seem to have a good period and then a very inconsistent period, so it’s something we’ll have to work on.”

The Ice will open the regular season on the road with a game against the defending WHL champions in the Edmonton Oil Kings on Thursday 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