The Kootenay Ice looked for redemption on Sunday afternoon against the Red Deer, but the Rebels couldn’t be tamed and won 8-5 at Western Financial Place.
“I’m really disappointed with the effort. The work we put into the game wasn’t good enough. The turnovers by our leaders and the lack of backchecking and the lack of competing started with them” said head coach James Patrick.
After a tough loss on Friday, Oct. 26 against Edmonton, the Ice went down early with just over a minute in the first with a goal from Reese Johnson.
With an early power play, the Ice looked to tie that game up, but the duo of Johnson and Brandon Hagel were able to get a two on two and give the Rebels a shorthanded goal.
“We got outworked. We dug ourselves a hole in the first … they just wanted it more, they outbattled us, they outworked us. We were bad in our [defence] zone,” said forward Davis Murray.
Less than five minutes into the first the Ice were able to rebound and tie the game up with goals from Brad Ginnell and Cameron Hausinger.
Goaltender Duncan McGovern left a juicy rebound right in front of the net and Blake Sydlowski buried his chance to give the Rebels a 3-2 lead, not even halfway through the first.
Going into the second period and only down by one, the Ice looked to redeem themselves. However, the Rebels added to their lead two minutes into the period with a goal by Alexander Alexeyev to make it 4-2.
“The way we came out and played in that second period, we just got flat out, outworked and out-competed, outbattled. For me it just started with our leadership group,” said Patrick.
The Rebels would keep coming as Arshdeep Bains right in front of McGovern buried one, and Josh Tarzwell would also get on the scoreboard to make it 6-2.
Early in the third, the Ice had a three-on-five powerplay, and defenceman Dallas Hines was able to get cut the Rebels lead in half making it 6-3. Still on the power play, with one second left Jonathan Smart got one past Ethan Anders to make it 6-4.
Ice powerplay was still hot as they got the score within one with Martin Bodak making it 6-5 with a shot that deflected off Anders’ back and into the net.
“We are managing to get better at [the power play] it was a lot better today. That’s what we need,” said forward Cole Muir.
But the Rebels weren’t done and Jeff de Wit added to the lead to make it 7-5.
With an empty net goal by Johnson and his third of the night, the Rebels won the game 8-5.
“We have a lot of hockey left, lots of games and lots of time to get better. I think guys still have to be happy to come to the rink. You have to want to come to the rink and get better,” said Murray.
The last two games the Ice have allowed 14 goals, something they will need to work on when they hit the road and face the Swift Current Broncos on Oct. 30.
“We will change some lines, try to get the message of our system- how we have to play down pat- it just hasn’t kicked in,” said Patrick.
Keeping the morale up within the group is going to be important, especially with the upcoming stretch of four games in five nights.
“We have had some tough games,” said Patrick. “For me, it’s three games in our last six that the work ethic hasn’t been good enough for where we need to be. I think we have tried to be somewhat positive, trying to keep the morale up, but at some point, it has to come from pride and from within.”