Ice have triple-header weekend

Kootenay faces a tough test with three games in three nights.

ROOKIE DUTIES: Kootenay Ice defenceman Tanner Faith throws a bag into the bus

The Kootenay Ice face a tough test this weekend when they rattle off three games in three nights, starting with their only road game of the month in Red Deer on Friday.

The Ice will hit the road right after and head home to face the Kamloops Blazers on Saturday along with a rematch with the Rebels on Sunday.

It’s the first action for the Ice since stringing together two wins last weekend against the Saskatoon Blades and the Edmonton Oil Kings.

While both opponents had been struggling of late, it was a bit of a symbolic victory for the Ice, as the Blades are hosting the Memorial Cup this year, while the Oil Kings are the defending WHL champions.

Both games were a big turnaround for Kootenay, which has struggled defensively to start the season, however, the difference was stark during their last two wins.

That defence also gave a boost to goaltender Mackenzie Skapski, who did some great work against the Blades, along with earning his first-career shutout against Edmonton.

“The reason why we got the two wins, first and foremost, is we’re improving in every area,” said Ice head coach Ryan McGill. “…In the second breath, I thought our special teams were real good on the weekend, other than that [Edmonton] game, for the power play.

“Our goaltending seemed to get more consistent, which was big for us and I thought we just played a better team game on both sides of the puck, defensively and offensively.”

One area of note for McGill was the power play against the Oil Kings, as the Ice couldn’t capitalize in eight separate opportunities.

However, Edmonton currently has the top-ranked penalty kill in the WHL, while Kootenay’s power play is ranked 15th overall, at 18.9 per cent.

McGill chalked up the power play’s failure to a good penalty killing effort by the Oil Kings, while the Ice didn’t “follow the plan.”

It’s something the team has been working on in practice this last week.

“The biggest thing for us on the power play is you have to establish a shot mentality, number one,” said McGill. “Number two, you got to move the puck, and when you move the puck, you got to move yourself so that if you’re moving the puck and you’re not standing still, you’re trying to create holes in their defence and your making the other team think.”

An effective power play is a handy weapon, especially since the Ice are facing the WHL’s hottest team on Saturday when the Kamloops Blazers come to town.

The Blazers are undefeated in regulation time, with a 10-0-0-1 record—their best start in franchise history.

The Twitterverse around the WHL has exploded, with fans and media dubbing the month ‘Liptober’, as Blazers sniper JC Lipton has 23 points in eight games, and leads the league with 27.

The Rebels, in turn, are coming off a 7-5 loss to the Blazers at home, before hosting the Ice on Friday evening.

Red Deer is third in the Central Division and is hoping to halt a two-game losing slide.

Just Posted

Former polygamous leader found guilty of removing a child from Canada

James Oler found guilty of removing an underage child from Canada to marry a U.S. man in 2004

Dog owner upset after five puppies stolen from Cranbrook home

Angelo Polh says a litter of puppies were taken from his home while he was away on May 11.

Local martial arts students head to worlds

Three Cranbrook athletes will be competing against the best at the USA World Championships

It happened this week in Cranbrook: 1912

Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the newspapers at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Cranbrook Bandits battle it out in Montana

The junior and senior teams were successful south of the border going 2-2 and 3-0 respectively

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

Update: Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

ICBC urging drivers to slow down this May long weekend

Speed is number one cause of car crash fatalities: ICBC

Bucks hammer Raptors 125-103 to take 2-0 playoff series lead

Toronto heads home in a hole after second loss to Milwaukee

Most Read