It took five shootout rounds to find a winner Wednesday night, but thanks to Jaedon Descheneau, the Kootenay Ice ran out of Regina with two points courtesy a 5-4 triumph.
“When you come back from down 3-1 and go ahead, that says a lot for the response from [the 7-6 shootout loss in Swift Current Tuesday],” said Kootenay Ice head coach Ryan McGill Wednesday night from Regina. “But we had a chance to put the puck into an empty net and we passed the puck three times for no reason. Then they come down and score. That’s just not good. Thank God we got the extra point in the shootout.”
Descheneau ended the game in the shootout, out-waiting Pats goaltender Daniel Wapple before shelving a quick shot high glove. It was the only goal scored by either team in the skills competition.
For the Ice, victory came despite a rough start and a rough finish to regulation.
With 46 seconds remaining in regulation, Pats defenceman Connor Hobbs fired a long shot from the point that eluded Ice goaltender Wyatt Hoflin, tying the game 4-4 and forcing overtime. The tying goal came after a missed opportunity at the other end of the rink, where the Ice were unable to get a shot towards the Pats cage, which had been vacated by Wapple.
“I would think this late in the season, we would care a lot more than we do,” McGill said. “Sometimes, it looks like we don’t care. And that’s not everybody, that’s just a select few.”
In the first period, Taylor Cooper and Pavel Padakin put the hosts ahead 2-0 after 20 minutes.
Ice forward River Beattie scored early in the second period to cut the lead to one, but rookie sensation Sam Steel was there to respond with his 16th of the campaign 4:04 later.
Descheneau pulled the visitors to within one once again, jamming home a rebound on top of the crease, before Sam Reinhart scored late in the second period to tie the game 3-3 heading into the final period.
Ice forward Tim Bozon gave his team its first lead of the night 11:11 into the third period. Left all alone in the slot, the native of Valbonne, France, took a pass from Reinhart before wiring one past Wapple for a 4-3 Ice lead.
Unfortunately, ghosts of days past continued to haunt the Ice as Hobbs tied the game in its dying moments.
A scoreless overtime period led to the shootout.
Hoflin made 32 stops as well as five in the shootout to backstop his team to victory. At the other end, Wapple turned aside 37 pucks and went 4-for-5 in the skills competition.
Next up, the Ice continue east, facing the Brandon Wheat Kings in back-to-back contests Friday and Saturday.
Notes; The Kootenay Ice had D Rinat Valiev back in the lineup after he missed Tuesday’s game due to illness… Scratched for the Ice were D Bryan Allbee, D Dylan Overdyk, F Austin Wellsby and D Tanner Faith (shoulder)…