The Kootenay ICE hosted the Red Deer Rebels at Western Financial Place as they tried to get back in the win column.
The Rebels, who are second in the Eastern Conference, proved to be tough competition for an ICE team coming off a 9-1 loss Nov. 18 to the Moose Jaw Warriors.
The ICE would try for the comeback win but was bested by the Rebels 3-2.
Halfway through the first Jakin Smallwood took a slashing penalty, and it wouldn’t take long for the Rebels to capitalize. Defenceman Dawson Barteaux would get the Rebels on the board for the 1-0 lead.
Forward Jeff de Wit would add to the Rebels lead 14 minutes into the first to make it 2-0.
“We just had too many turnovers at both blue lines, I thought we eliminated that in the second period,” said head coach James Patrick.
However, the ICE would go on the powerplay right after and forward Cameron Hausinger wouldn’t miss he would capitalize and get the ICE on the board.
“I thought we competed well, and I thought we had a good bounce back after they went up 2-0,” said Hausinger.
Neither team would see the back of the net in the second period after many chances for both. It would be 2-1 going into the third, with shots being at 18-18.
Less than two minutes into the first Martin Bodak would drop the gloves with Brandon Hagel. Hagel has been a name to watch on the Rebels. Coming into Friday night he had 14 goals and 23 assists on the season.
“Not only taking out one of their good players but the spark of energy. It got a little louder in the building, and that’s what motivates us most,” said Hausinger about the fight.
It didn’t take long for the bout to light up the ICE, Hausinger would go for his second goal of the game to tie the game six minutes into the third period.
The Rebels would come back, but could only hit the post as the ICE tried to hold onto the tie in the third.
The ICE couldn’t hold on though, with one minute left of regulation Hagel got one past goaltender Jesse Makaj to take a 3-2 lead.
“We are a real fragile team right now. Obviously, we can’t get a win, and it’s even more heartbreaking tonight. I thought we have had some tough outings at home,” said Patrick.
The ICE will have strong competition tomorrow as they take on the league-leading Prince Albert Raiders. The Raiders have lost one game all season and are coming off a 7-3 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers.
“You just have to bring your compete- that’s it. They are a good team, I think everybody in the league knows that I think every player knows that. You just have to compete. When you compete you put yourself in a better chance to win at the end of the day,” said Hausinger.
Forward Holden Kodak said going into tomorrow’s game the team is going to have to continue to work hard.
“We have a really tough test tomorrow, one of the best teams in Canada so as long as we keep working hard and keep it simple. We just have to keep pucks in deep and go to work. It will be a tough test tomorrow,” he said.
Puck drop is 7 p.m. at Western Financial Place.