Forward Luke Philp returns to lead the Kootenay Ice in their 2014-15 season opener against the Red Deer Rebels Friday night.

Forward Luke Philp returns to lead the Kootenay Ice in their 2014-15 season opener against the Red Deer Rebels Friday night.

Ice look to play spoiler in Alberta

The Kootenay Ice open the 2014-15 WHL season in Red Deer against the Rebels Friday night

Taylor Rocca

The Kootenay Ice are set to open the 2014-15 WHL regular season on the road this weekend, beginning Friday at the ENMAX Centrium in Red Deer against Brent Sutter’s Rebels.

“If you’re going to make the playoffs, you’ve got to win those divisional games early so you aren’t scrambling late,” said Kootenay Ice head coach Ryan McGill Thursday afternoon.

The Ice opened the 2013-14 regular season against the Rebels, falling 4-2 at home on Sept. 20, 2013. Kootenay went on to post a record of 2-6-0 in eight games against the Rebels in 2013-14.

The Rebels closed out the 2014 pre-season 3-3-0.

Following Friday’s tilt in Red Deer, the Ice continue north in hopes of crashing the Oil Kings banner-raising party in Edmonton Saturday night.

The Oil Kings were crowned Western Hockey League champions in 2013-14, trumping the Portland Winterhawks in a seven-game thriller before moving on to claim Memorial Cup glory in London, Ont.

“When you go into two buildings having their opening night, you’d like to try to be a spoiler,” McGill said. “Hopefully [you’re] a little more focused than them and try to get out to a quick start.”

Edmonton wrapped up the pre-season 2-3-0.

Forwards Jon Martin and Luke Philp will bolster Kootenay’s lineup after returning from short stints at NHL rookie camps.

Martin, 19, rejoined the club earlier this week after time with the Vancouver Canucks in Penticton, B.C. The Winnipeg native registered a goal for the Canucks Young Stars Sept. 15 in a 6-1 loss to the Calgary Flames Young Stars.

Philp, also 19, was in London, Ont. at Toronto Maple Leafs rookie camp. According to McGill, he will join the team in time to suit up for Friday’s season opener in Red Deer. The native of Canmore, Alta. led the Ice in pre-season scoring (4G, 1A) despite only suiting up for two games prior to jetting for Leafs camp.

The Ice wrapped up the 2014 WHL pre-season Sept. 14, dropping a 4-1 decision to the Calgary Hitmen in Crowsnest Pass, Alta. Kootenay closed out the exhibition campaign 1-4-0.

Though lineups won’t be released until closer to puck drop (7 p.m. Friday and Saturday), Kootenay will undoubtedly ice a relatively young squad with six players at NHL training camps.

Included on that list are F Tim Bozon (Montreal Canadiens), F Sam Reinhart (Buffalo Sabres) and G Mackenzie Skapski (New York Rangers). Those three are considered long shots to return to Cranbrook this season. F Jaedon Descheneau (St. Louis Blues), D Tanner Faith (Minnesota Wild) and D Rinat Valiev (Toronto Maple Leafs) have all joined their respective clubs for main camp and will also be unavailable.

With that in mind, the extended tryout continues for youngsters both upfront and on the blue line.

Forwards Shane Allan, River Beattie, Jared Legien, Vince Loschiavo and Austin Wellsby continue to vie for ice time as do defencemen Bryan Allbee, Cale Fleury, Mark O’Shaughnessy and Dylan Overdyk.

The Ice are not expected to re-assign any players this week. Following last week’s exhibition loss to Calgary, McGill said staff would begin discussions as players are returned to the club from NHL camps. Evaluations will continue through the weekend.

Following this weekend, Kootenay returns to Red Deer for a re-engagement with the Rebels Sept. 27.

The Ice return to Cranbrook Oct. 3 to host the Spokane Chiefs in the team’s home opener at Western Financial Place.

Just Posted

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

Calvin Dickson photo.
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for East Kootenay

Conditions favourable for the development of thunderstorms, hail and heavy rain

The Independent Investigations Office of BC is looking into a Castlegar incident. File photo
Police watchdog investigating Castlegar incident

IIO: Woman sustained a reportedly self-inflicted injury

Mount Baker Secondary School in Cranbrook.
Graduation ceremony in the works for MBSS Class of 2021

The Mount Bake Secondary School Class of 2021 will have a graduation… Continue reading

After being forced to cancel in 2020 due to the pandemic, the Wasa Triathlon is being organized for August. Bulletin file photo.
Information released for Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon scheduled for August

In 2020 the COVID pandemic forced the Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon to… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – 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
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Most Read