The Kootenay Ice have pared down their roster following the completion of the exhibition season over the weekend, dropping a pair of games to the Lethbridge Hurricanes and the Calgary Hitmen.
Forwards Connor Barley and Harris Pearce and defenceman Jason Wenzel have been reassigned, which puts the roster at three goaltenders, nine defencemen and 16 forwards.
The Ice finished off their preseason schedule with an annual tournament in the Crowsnest Pass, however, the Hurricanes came out on top 5-2 on Thursday, while the Hitmen eked out a 2-1 OT win on Saturday.
The Kootenay Ice begin the regular season on the road in Calgary on Friday but return to Western Financial Place for their home opener on Saturday, Sept. 24.
Three unanswered goals lifted the Hurricanes to the win as the ‘Canes stuck three times throughout the game on the man-advantage on their way to a 5-2 win.
Lethbridge opened the scoring in the first period on goals from Riley Lindgren and former Ice forward Jesse Zaharichuk, who potted the first powerplay marker.
Kootenay struck back seconds in to the middle frame on a quick goal from Austin Wellsby, while Eli Lieffers knotted up the affair a few minutes later.
Near the halfway mark, Colton Kroeker notched the game winning goal with the man-advantage, while Jordy Bellerive also scored late in the frame with an Ice player in the sin bin.
Lindgren added an unassisted effort in the third to round out the scoring.
Payton Lee went the distance in goal for the Ice, stopping 32 shots, while Stuart Skinner made 31 saves for the ‘Canes.
CAL 2 (OT)
For the third time in the preseason, the Kootenay Ice went into the extra period, however, the third time was not the charm as the Calgary Hitmen prevailed on a goal from Lucas Cullen.
After a scoreless first period, an early goal in the middle frame from Murphy Stratton on the powerplay gave the Hitmen the lead.
But the Ice answered back in the third period with a power play of their own on a goal from Michael King, which would leave the two teams tied after 60 minutes.
Cullen’s goal came late in the OT frame, just before things turned into a shootout.
ICE CHIPS: Kootenay Ice alum Jaedon Descheneau scored the game-winner for the Edmonton Oilers in a 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames as part of an annual NHL rookie showcase tournament in Penticton this weekend. Descheneau played alongside former Ice teammate Collin Shirley, who is a free-agent invite that also scored earlier in the game. Overager Zak Zborosky is currently attending a rookie tournament with the New York Rangers.