The Kootenay Ice made it a sweep over the weekend, dumping the Regina Pats and the Moose Jaw Warriors for a perfect record during a four-game road trip into Saskatchewan.
“I think we never stopped battling within all those games,” said Ice assistant coach Chad Kletzel. “We had some players stepped up in key times with big goals and some saves at the right times.”
Kootenay has now won 11 of their last 12 games and climbed to within four points of the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The streak has helped the team build some confidence, especially when it comes at the expense of overtime or a shootout.
“I think it’s an opportunity to be in those situations and build confidence in those situations and to see guys succeed in those is always good for the team,” Kletzel said.
Zach McPhee’s shootout winner lifted the Ice to a 3-2 victory over the Moose Jaw Warriors in their last game of their four-game excursion into the prairies on Saturday night.
The Warriors had a 2-1 lead going into the final period on a pair of goals from Kendall McFaull, while Sam Reinhart had answered for Kootenay.
Jaedon Descheneau notched the tying marker in the third period, which sent the contest into overtime, and eventually, a shootout.
Ice goaltender Mackenzie Skapski made 10 stops in the shootout round, and 22 saves over the course of the game.
Kootenay, and Skapski for that matter, have yet to lose if a game makes it into a shootout this season.
“If you look at his record, he’s [Skapski] has had lots of success and he’s done a very good job in those, stopping the puck and giving us an opportunity to win those shootouts,” said Kletzel.
Kootenay was denied on their one and only chance on the powerplay, while Moose Jaw converted once in two opportunities with the man-advantage.
Earlier on Friday, the Ice took away their only regulation-win of the trip by defeating the Regina Pats 2-1.
Dyson Stevenson opened the scoring in the first period for Regina, before Descheneau tied it up in the second period, and added the game winner in the third.
The sin bins were quiet, as the game’s only infraction went against the Pats, but Kootenay was unable to convert on the powerplay.
Skapski made 29 saves in the crease, while Matt Hewitt turned away 24 shots for Regina.
The Ice have one home game this week as they host the Warriors for a rematch on Wednesday at Western Financial Place.