Prince George native Bryan Allbee (above) and the Kootenay Ice take on the Cougars Tuesday at CN Centre.

Prince George native Bryan Allbee (above) and the Kootenay Ice take on the Cougars Tuesday at CN Centre.

Ice set to wrap B.C. Division slog in Prince George

Season-long road trip ends Tuesday evening as Kootenay Ice face Prince George Cougars in WHL action

When the Kootenay Ice bus rolled into Prince George Sunday night, it had already covered more than 2,000 km of highway since it first left Cranbrook last Monday, Nov. 30.

A road that started as a long one has seemingly gotten longer and longer with each passing day, as the Ice have gone winless since leaving Cranbrook.

With only one game remaining on a season-long five-game road trip through the WHL’s B.C. Division, the comforts of home are drawing near, but head coach Luke Pierce doesn’t want that reality to draw attention away from the task at hand — Tuedsay’s tilt with the Cougars.

“For us, as a group right now, I certainly hope [the players] aren’t looking past it and looking forward to getting home, the same as I hope they’re not looking back and seeing we’ve lost seven [games] in a row,” Pierce said.

“Every day is another opportunity to be better. There’s no point looking back in the past on what’s gone on. It’s a new day. But you can’t look forward into the future either and wait for this [streak] to end. You have to make it end and work your way through it.

“It’s a real big game for us Tuesday and regardless of that outcome, Saturday [at home against the Swift Current Broncos] will be a real big game again. We’re in that one-day-at-a-time mode right now.

“It’s no different than when you’re fighting for your lives in a playoff race at the end of the year — you’re just one day at a time.”

Putting an end to a season-long seven-game losing skid will be a tall task Tuesday in Cariboo Country as the Cougars (17-9-1-1) pose a serious challenge for an Ice squad (6-23-2-0) that is both road weary — having played four games in five nights to open the trip — and battered.

When the Ice departed Cranbrook, they were without the services of forwards Luke Philp, Jaedon Descheneau, Shane Allan, Zak Zborosky and River Beattie. While Allan returned to the lineup upon the completion of his four-game suspension, centre Dylan Stewart was then lost to a head injury Saturday night in Victoria. Defenceman Tyler King also remains unavailable as he rehabs following off-season knee surgery.

The hope is the host Cougars will have bus legs of their own after having returned to Prince George following a quick two-game trek that took them to Everett before playing a Sunday-evening match in Vancouver against the Giants.

“We’ve got a real tough opponent who plays a real physical style that’s aggressive,” Pierce said. “They’re at home and also playing real good hockey right now.”

The road wasn’t unfriendly to the Cougars this past weekend as they shutout the Silvertips 3-0 Friday before edging out the Giants 6-5 Sunday. In all, the Cougars have rattled off five wins in a row since being knocked down by the Kamloops Blazers Nov. 27.

Puck drop between the Ice and Cougars is slated for 8 p.m. (Mountain) from the CN Centre in Prince George.

Following Tuesday’s contest, the Ice hit the road back to Cranbrook where they will host Jon Martin and the Swift Current Broncos (8-17-3-1) Saturday night on A&W Teddy Bear, Toque and Mitten Toss night at Western Financial Place.

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

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
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

It happened this week in 1914

June 13 - 19: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read