ICE get ready for pair of home games against Oil Kings, Blades

The Kootenay ICE will look to get back in the win column against the Edmonton Oil Kings on Friday.

Playing three games in three nights this weekend, the ICE will take on the Oil Kings on Nov. 9 and the Saskatoon Blades on Nov. 10 at Western Financial Place. Then they head to Calgary to play the Hitmen on Nov. 11.

“We have to play our system. We have to know what we are doing off faceoff loses. We have to know how we play in the defence zone. We have to know how we forecheck and what we do when we are in the offensive zone,” said head coach James Patrick about what the team needs to do to win.

Having already played the Oil Kings three times this year and losing all of them, there isn’t going to be any real secrets going into the game.

“There isn’t anything new. Obviously, [Trey] Fix-Wolansky really drives that team. I thought they have a very mobile defence that will get involved. For us we just have to play our system and manage the puck, that’s going to give us the best chance to win,” said Patrick.

Physical battles will also be important, as Patrick noted he would like to see the team get more engaged.

During Tuesday’s practice defenceman, Nolan Orzeck was wearing a non-contact jersey.

“Nolan had an upper-body injury, that’s why he didn’t dress the last couple of games. We will have his status revaluated tomorrow,” said Patrick.

The ICE recently went on a four-game Saskatchewan road trip where the team went 2-2. Even though they split the games, Patrick said it was a good chance for players to build upon their chemistry.

“I think it was good for us to spend the five days [together and] a lot of that time on the bus. We were able to have a couple of dinners and a team activity, so I think that was a real positive. We played some good hockey at the start,” he said.

The ICE won their first two games against the Swift Current Broncos and the Saskatoon Blades, while they lost to the Prince Albert Raiders and Moose Jaw Warriors.

“I thought we got humbled by a great team in Prince Albert that we are a long ways from right now. I didn’t like our last game in Moose Jaw, I didn’t like how we played, our turnovers and individual play instead of playing our system,” said Patrick.

The road trip also saw a couple of players called up, notably defencemen Karter Prosofsky, Anson McMaster and forward Owen Pederson.

“I thought they fit in very well,” said Patrick.

“I thought Karter Prosofsky was our best defenceman in the last game … I can’t say enough about him. He’s going to be a good player, he can move the puck and skate and he’s physical for a player that is not that tall, but he’s extremely strong.”

Puck drop for Nov. 9 and Nov. 10 will be 7 p.m. at Western Financial Place.

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