The Kootenay Ice were bested by the Medicine Hat Tigers at Western Financial Place on Feb. 6.
The Central Division matchup saw the Tigers take a 6-3 lead over the Ice.
“They are a really good team and they showed it certainly in the first period — they dominated,” said head coach James Patrick.
Brad Ginnell opened the scoring in the first period with his 12 goal of the season, tallying on a power play near the midway mark.
But, the Tigers were resilient and hit the score sheet on a man-advantage of their own with a tip-in by Ryan Chyzowski, followed by a marker from Cole Clayton for a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes.
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Goaltender Jesse Makaj faced 21 shots in the first period, while Tigers goaltender Mads Sogaard saw three shots in the first.
“Jesse Makaj was really good — he was outstanding all night, so that was a real positive for us,” said Patrick.
The Tigers took their 2-1 lead into the second period, starting on a power play. Tyler Preziuso scored with eight seconds left on the man-advantage to add to the Tigers lead.
The Ice had a couple of close chances and Peyton Krebs buried one on another power play to get the game within one.
The Kootenay captain scored his 17th goal of the season with helpers from Jaeger White and Connor McClennon.
Jakin Smallwood tied the game up early in the third period as he tipped the puck. But less than a minute later, the Tigers took back the lead with a goal from Ryan Jevne. Jevne would add another goal as would Chyzowski to take the game 6-3.
“Overall, I think our team played pretty good. We had a solid game, we tied the game up there and then 20 seconds later we gave up the goal. I think it was a mix of everything, what happened, but I thought our team battled hard and it was a pretty close game,” said Makaj.
Makaj faced 50 shots on the night, while Sogaard saw 26. The Ice also went two for four on the power play, while the Tigers were three for four.
Makaj said he likes the games where he faces a lot of shots.
“I feel like that way I improve and get a lot better,” Makaj said. “The first period I had 21 shots and honestly it sounds weird, but I do prefer that because that is only going to make me better in the future.”
The Ice will be on the road for the weekend heading to face the Tri-City Americans on Feb. 8 and then the Spokane Chiefs on Feb. 9.
They will be back at Western Financial Place on Feb. 15 to take on the Saskatoon Blades.