Goaltender Wyatt Hoflin

Goaltender Wyatt Hoflin

Road woes continue as Kootenay Ice lose two more

Red Deer Rebels and Edmonton Oil Kings beat up on Kootenay Ice over two-game Alberta road swing

Life on the road hasn’t gotten any easier for the Kootenay Ice.

With only two wins away from Western Financial Place heading into the weekend, the Ice were unable to break through in Alberta, dropping contests to the Red Deer Rebels and Edmonton Oil Kings.

Friday, the Rebels cruised to an 8-2 triumph, before the Oil Kings handed the Ice a 6-2 defeat Sunday afternoon.

Through 26 road games this season, the Ice are a miserable 2-23-1-0, having been outscored by a combined margin of 135-50, or 5.19-1.92 per game.

“We just weren’t ready to play and there’s no excuses for it at this point in the year,” said Luke Pierce, head coach of the Kootenay Ice, regarding Friday’s 8-2 loss to the Rebels. “We’ve been on the road a lot. We’re used to riding the bus. We need to understand that the first five minutes of any hockey game on the road, you have to be a little bit smarter and simpler.

“It starts to sound redundant now. How many more times can we talk about the same issues and not figure it out? It’s extremely frustrating.”

Jake DeBrusk spotted the hosts a lead only 34 seconds into Friday’s shellacking, ultimately setting the tone for the first period and the rest of the game. Before the night was 20 minutes old, Grayson Pawlenchuk and Adam Musil piled on to make it 3-0 Rebels before Zak Zborosky tallied a shorthanded marker.

The Rebels topped a three-goal first period by adding three more in the second, as Adam Helewka, Austin Pratt and Austin Strand joined in on the offense to make it 6-1 after 40 minutes of play.

Matt Alfaro registered a power-play tally in the early moments of the third, but Helewka and Colton Bobyk responded to round out the scoring and finish off the Rebels’ 8-2 route of the Ice.

Sunday afternoon in Edmonton, the Ice came out seemingly having learned at least one lesson from Friday’s crushing loss.

Over a span of 1:41, Zborosky and Noah Philp put up back-to-back power-play daggers, getting the Kootenay special teams rolling and providing a critical 2-0 lead midway through the first period.

Then the special teams tables turned and the Oil Kings rattled off six consecutive goals, including three in the second period, cruising to a 6-2 victory.

“We have a lead and we take two penalties that are in the offensive zone and are unnecessary, in my opinion,” Pierce said.

“We weren’t able to get out emotions out of that. Back to some old habits.”

Oil Kings left winger Colton Kehler started the special teams turnaround as he collected his 10th goal of the campaign on a power play 5:35 into the second period.

Only 1:14 later, Dario Meyer tallied just as another Ice penalty expired, so while the goal didn’t go up as a power-play effort, it was most definitely a product of the man advantage.

Finally, with only 14 seconds left on the clock, Brandon Baddock posted the Oil Kings’ second official power-play goal of the evening and the hosts carried a 3-2 lead into the second intermission.

Matters only went from bad to worse over the final 20 minutes of play as Kole Gable scored 2:55 in before Lane Bauer registered a third power-play goal. Finally, Brett Pollock completed the scoring with a shorthanded marker as only 1:34 remained on the regulation clock.

Ice goaltender Wyatt Hoflin was a busy man all weekend long.

The native of Spruce Grove, Alta., who turned 21 Sunday, faced 49 shots in Red Deer, turning aside 41. In Edmonton, the veteran puck-stopper saw 42 shots and made 36 saves.

“As the penalty trouble wore on [in Edmonton], that’s where they got all their shots and it was a pretty tight game up until that point,” Pierce said. “They start loading up on the shot count and it’s going to wear your goalie down.

“Wyatt is never going to quit, he’s never going to give up. We need to see more of that from more people.”

With the completion of the quick, two-game road trip, the Ice (8-38-4-0) return home to kick-start a season-long, five-game home stand when the same Oil Kings (21-23-6-1) visit Cranbrook on 2-for-1 Tuesday (7 p.m.) at Western Financial Place.

Just Posted

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

Calvin Dickson photo.
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for East Kootenay

Conditions favourable for the development of thunderstorms, hail and heavy rain

The Independent Investigations Office of BC is looking into a Castlegar incident. File photo
Police watchdog investigating Castlegar incident

IIO: Woman sustained a reportedly self-inflicted injury

Mount Baker Secondary School in Cranbrook.
Graduation ceremony in the works for MBSS Class of 2021

The Mount Bake Secondary School Class of 2021 will have a graduation… Continue reading

After being forced to cancel in 2020 due to the pandemic, the Wasa Triathlon is being organized for August. Bulletin file photo.
Information released for Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon scheduled for August

In 2020 the COVID pandemic forced the Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon to… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Most Read