The Kootenay ICE dropped their weekend games against the Prince Albert Raiders and the Calgary Hitmen.
Back at Western Financial Place after a six-game road trip, the ICE hosted their Pink the Rink anti-bullying game on Jan. 26. As they donned their pink jerseys like superheroes, the Raiders were relentless and won 7-3.
“I obviously didn’t do a good enough job this week — having a week off — getting our team prepared to play a really good team because there was not much to like,” said head coach James Patrick.
The Raiders had two short-handed goals, and Noah Gregor had a hat trick, while Dante Hannoun potted a pair of goals.
“Both were turnovers,” Patrick said about the short-handed goals. “Awareness of the situation … we can’t have turnovers and allow their good speed on their team to be on the offensive side of the puck.”
The ICE had had goals from Brad Ginnell, Connor McClennon and Jakin Smallwood.
Patrick said turnovers were what really hurt the team.
“Twelve chances in the second period, and 10 off of turnovers, we had the puck. Not many positives,” he said.
The Raiders are the top of the Western Hockey League and top of the Canadian Hockey League, so it was no surprise they proved to be a tough team to play against.
“Being a top team like that it’s a test for us,” said Smallwood, who finished the night with two shots on net and a goal.
“They are big, they are strong, they are an older team than us and they can skate well. Us being a young team we can definitely take a lot from that game and move on.”
Goaltender Jesse Makaj faced 35 shots throughout the night, while Raiders goaltender Boston Bilous only saw 16.
The ICE didn’t have much time to prepare for their next game. Less than 24-hours later they were in Calgary to play the Hitmen.
The Hitmen scored four goals before the ICE could get on the board. Austin Schellenberg had the lone goal for the ICE as they were downed 4-1.
Curtis Meger faced 28 shots on the night, and Hitmen goaltender Jack McNaughton faced 21.
The ICE will be back in action on Feb. 1 against the Swift Current Broncos at Western Financial Place.
•The Broncos are the lone team that is below the ICE with a 10-34-2-1 record for 23 points on the season. The ICE are 10-32-7-1 on the season for 28 points.
•Captain Peyton Krebs leads the ICE in points this season with 54 — that puts him 16th in the WHL. While, Jaeger White leads the team with 20 goals on the season.
•The ICE power play is 15th in the WHL, and sitting at 20 per cent. Their penalty kill is worst in the league at 70.4 per cent.
•The Broncos and ICE have met twice this year, with Kootenay winning both contests. They will hope to continue their success against the Broncos and end their four-game losing streak.