Following a two-game U.S. road trip, Kootenay Ice return home to host the Medicine Hat Tigers Tuesday night at Western Financial Place.
The game will be the fourth in five nights for the Ice, who edged the Spokane Chiefs 3-2 Saturday before falling to the Tri-City Americans 5-4 Sunday evening.
Life hasn’t been any easier for the visiting Tigers, who have ben on the road since Friday. After opening a four-game road trip with a pair of victories Friday and Saturday (5-2 at Everett and 5-3 at Seattle), the Tigers fell 4-1 to the Portland Winterhawks Sunday afternoon.
Tuesday’s tilt will also represent the fourth game in five days for the Tigers.
The Ice and Tigers last met Nov. 22 in Medicine Hat, where Kootenay goaltender Wyatt Hoflin turned in a 48-save performance, shutting out the Tigers 3-0. In the only other meeting of the year between the two Central Division rivals, the Tigers rolled to a 7-3 victory at Western Financial Place Nov. 19.
“We knew they were a fast team with small guys and a lot of skill and good defence. They move the puck well and I think we got off the game a little bit,” said Kootenay Ice forward Tim Bozon Nov. 19. “Against one of the best teams in the league, if you do that, you won’t have a chance to win the hockey game.”
The Tigers remain one of the top teams in the WHL, sitting second in the Eastern Conference.
As for the small, skilled forwards Bozon referred to, Medicine Hat boasts a pair of pint-sized forwards in the top-10 scoring ranks of the WHL.
Trevor Cox and Cole Sandford, both measuring up at 5-foot-8, rank sixth and seventh in WHL scoring, respectively.
It was Cox crushing the Ice the last time the two teams met in Cranbrook. The Surrey native tallied three goals and an assist in the Tigers’ 7-3 victory.