The Kootenay ICE welcomed the Moose Jaw Warriors to Western Financial Place on Nov. 28 as they looked to get back into the win column.
The ICE are 7-16-3-1 on the season and have lost the last five games, but they would have hard competition against the Warriors.
The Warriors would prove to be too much and take the game 3-1 serving the ICE their sixth loss in a row.
“I didn’t think we played very well,” said head coach James Patrick.
“I didn’t like our game. I thought our puck management was not good. We had some guys playing very timid, very perimeter hockey.”
Peyton Krebs and Valtteri Kakkonen were both back in the lineup after being out with upper body injuries.
“It’s always uncomfortable to come back from an injury. The game seems different, but I think I got in pretty quickly, and it was nice to be back in the lineup again,” said Kakkonen who has missed five games.
After some near chances in the first, the Warriors got on the board first with a goal from ex-ICE player Keenan Taphorn.
Back in October Keenan and his brother Kaeden were traded to the Warriors.
The Warriors kept the 1-0 lead throughout the first and had the advantage in shots 6-11.
Defenceman Josh Brook added to the Warriors lead as he put the puck into traffic to get it past Duncan McGovern.
The ICE wouldn’t be without chances, forward Jaeger White had a breakaway, but was unable to get it past goaltender Adam Evanoff.
Shots were closer at the end of the second period with it being 18-20 for the Warriors, but the score remained 2-0 for Moose Jaw.
Just as the ICE killed off a penalty to Dallas Hines, Jett Woo got a bullet past McGovern to make it 3-0 two minutes into the third.
“That kills you at the start of the third,” said Patrick.
The ICE didn’t go scoreless. A big welcome back included a goal from Krebs. It was his seventh goal of the season and his 28th point.
In the last couple of minutes of play Krebs had a chance to get his second goal of the night but was robbed by Adam Evanoff.
“It happened to go right on my twig, I would like to go back to that one for sure maybe. It was a good save by the goalie for sure. I tried to get it up and he made a good play,” explained Krebs.
The final score was 3-1 Warriors with shots on goal 27-29 for Moose Jaw.
“I thought that game was there, but we didn’t put in enough work to really earn it,” said Patrick.
Rookie James Form made his WHL debut as the team has been battling some injuries.
“I thought James was fine,” said Patrick. “He kind of got spot duty and a lot of the night turned into a three lien game.”
Cameron Hausinger and Connor McClennon were not in the lineup against the Warriors. Both players sustained injuries in the Nov. 24 against the Prince Albert Raiders.
“Both are going to miss some significant time here. Connor won’t be back until after Christmas, Cam is probably on a week-to-week basis,” said Patrick.
The ICE will go on a U.S road trip this weekend as they will play the Seattle Thunderbirds, Everett Silvertips, and Portland Winterhawks.
“We want to get some wins here,” Krebs said about the upcoming weekend.
“The U.S. is a strong division in terms of depth and if we can get some wins here I think it’s going to be a huge confidence builder going into the rest of December.”
They will be back at Western Financial Place on Dec. 5 for a game against the Lethbridge Hurricanes.