Like the Calgary series, The Kootenay Ice has brought a split back home after opening the second round on the road in Alberta.
The Medicine Hat Tigers arrived in Cranbrook on Tuesday, and the two teams will get down to business in Game Three on Wednesday and Game Four on Thursday.
Home ice advantage was huge in the regular season series, with the hosts winning three of the six games.
Coming out of the den of the Tigers with a victory is a good sign.
“It was huge to get one in that rink, we’ve struggled there all year,” said Ice forward Luke Philp, “but we played real well in Game One, so a split—we’ll take that and we played well here all playoffs so far and all season, so we’re going to be ready to go tomorrow night.”
Kootenay caged the Tigers in the opener, winning 4-2 before falling in the rematch at 5-2 to make it even heading into Ice country.
Though Medicine Hat won Game Two, it was tied up at 2-2 heading into the final 20 minutes.
“In the third period we got a little off our game, giving them too much and not generating much for ourselves,” said Ice forward Jaedon Descheneau.
The Ice power play, which was a huge part of the series against the Hitmen, has been quiet, going scoreless in eight chances.
However, the two forwards aren’t too concerned about it, considering the chances they’ve been getting.
“Our power play hasn’t been bad at all, it just hasn’t gone in the net,” said Descheneau. “Their goalie’s made some good saves, but we’re getting a lot of good looks, a lot of back-door plays, high slot plays and stuff like that so eventually it’s going to go in. “
“We’re getting lots of chances I think,” he said. “We’re entering the puck pretty well, so we’d be worried if the chances weren’t there and we were struggling to move the puck around, but it’s just been real close between the puck going in and not going in a few times.”
NOTES: The Ice teamed up with Boston Pizza in Cranbrook to raise $4,178 at a fundraiser on Monday night. Bozon wrapped up his meetings with the medical staff of the Montreal Canadiens and has headed back home to France with his family.