Kootenay Ice looking to get back in win column in Medicine Hat

First game in post-Cale Fleury era sees team face Tigers offence who put up 11 goals in last meeting

According to Kootenay Ice head coach James Patrick, his team doesn’t know how good the Medicine Hat Tigers really are.

Despite having played them on October 20, and lost 11-1, the division rivals are still a bit of mystery heading into tonight’s road meeting.

“[Our] last game [in Medicine Hat] was our worst of the year [so] they looked like the Red Army to me,” Patrick said, following the team’s loss on Saturday night to Spokane. “I don’t even know how good [they are] because I [couldn’t tell] if it was us being that bad or them being that good.”

While Patrick has only faced the Tigers once, those remaining from last year’s team know that they’ve been Ice-killers for awhile.

In 2016-17, Medicine Hat beat Kootenay in all seven of their matchups during the regular season and outscored the Ice 41-15. They also haven’t lost at home to the Cranbrook club since November 22, 2014.

With the recent trade of captain Cale Fleury to Regina, forward Vince Loschiavo is the only player remaining to have beaten the Tigers while wearing an Ice jersey.

“We can’t be the way we’ve been the last two games in the first period,” Patrick said of their gameplan. “We’re going to have to do something different.”

Losing their past three games, the Ice have had slow starts in their two most recent games over the weekend. On Friday, against Prince Albert, the Ice let in four goals in the opening 20 minutes and on Saturday, against Spokane, the Ice gave up 22 shots in the first frame.

While the team was hampered by injuries to leading point-producer Colton Kroeker, as well as Loschiavo, forward Jeff de Wit and defenceman Loeden Schaufler, the team should have some relief tonight.

While Kroeker and Schaufler should still be sidelined, the other two could potentially return. The team will also be aided by the new players added in the Fleury-trade.

16-year-old forward Cole Muir and 18-year-old blueliner Jonathan Smart might have some initial struggles adapting to their new team, but both could provide Kootenay with some jump.

It will also be a special night for Ice goalie Duncan McGovern, who was recently acquired from the Tigers, as he returns to the city for the first time.

Through 18 games, Medicine Hat has a 12-6-0-0 record and are first in the Central Division and third in the entire Eastern Conference. They also enter the game on a four-game winning streak.

Their offensive leaders in 2017-18 are Mark Rassell, who has 26 points, and defenceman David Quenneville, who has 24 points.

After two weeks away from the team at the World U-17 Hockey Challenge, where he won a silver medal with Team Canada Red, Peyton Krebs will be back in the lineup tonight. Krebs is third in team points with 13 in 15 games, behind only Kroeker (19 points) and Alec Baer (16 points).

While the Ice are tied for second in the Central, their 8-11-1-0 record has them in seventh overall in their conference.

Puck drop at the Canalta Centre tonight is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

Just Posted

Cranbrook’s India Sherret nominated to Canadian Olympic ski cross team

Local skier set to compete at PyeongChang games in February, week after first World Cup medal

Fuel treatment underway in Cranbrook Community Forest

Project manager urges public to avoid area while fuel treatment work is being completed.

Dog stomped by deer on Norton Avenue

Udi, 15, had to be put down

Adams celebrated as 2017 Citizen of the Year

Gala dinner recognizes Mike Adams for his community volnteerism.

New slant on the next play

Cranbrook Community Theatre tries something new with next play

VIDEO: Fuel truck and train collide in B.C. causing massive fire

More emergency crews are still arriving on scene of a massive fire at the Port Coquitlam rail yard.

Back to work: U.S. government shutdown ends after Democrats relent

Short-term spending measure means both sides could see another shutdown stalemate in three weeks

Man lives despite malfunctioning defibrillator at B.C. arena

A middle-aged man went into cardiac arrest after at game at Pitt Meadows Arena last Wednesday.

Cause of Northern B.C. seaplane crash released

TSB releases report on seaplane crash during a water landing in 2016 near First Nations community

Vancouver police crack down on pop-up pot vendors

Officers raided merchants’ tables on Robson Square late Sunday

Dryer incident at Teck Elkview Operations

Locals report hearing loud bang

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Crown seeks 4.5 years jail for B.C. woman convicted of counselling tax evasion

Debbie Anderson the latest from group to face jail for teaching debunked ‘natural person’ theory

Most Read