The Kootenay ICE are still looking to get back into the win column after two losses over the weekend.
Taking on the Red Deer Rebels and the Prince Albert Raiders at Western Financial Place the ICE didn’t get a point in either contest.
The ICE went down 3-2 by a heartbreaking last-minute goal by the Rebels on Nov. 23.
In the first period of play, the ICE would be down 2-0, but five minutes left Cam Hausinger got his first of two goals on the night to make it 2-1.
The ICE went on to tie the game in the third period by another goal from Hausinger, but that was all they could manage.
“Cam played really well, he double shifted a lot of the game, and he’s been really versatile for us. He’s been a bit snake-bitten so it was good for him to be rewarded tonight. He’s had a lot of chances and I know he hasn’t scored for a while, he was obviously our best player tonight,” said head coach James Patrick post-game.
With less than a minute left in regulation, Brandon Hagel got the goal to give the Rebels the lead.
The ICE went one for six on the power play, while the Rebels were one and three on the night.
Goaltender Jesse Makaj would make 26 saves against the central division leaders.
The turnaround was quick because the ICE went on to host the Raiders on Nov. 24. The Raiders have the best record in the CHL with only one loss in 24 games this season.
Even with a hard battle, the ICE went down 5-1 to the Raiders. Their top player Brett Leason finished the night with three points. Leason has 25 goals and 29 assists for 54 points in 24 games so far.
“I thought we played really hard,” said Patrick.
“We were short-handed to start with and we lost two guys to injury early. I thought the team played really hard. I thought if we could have got out with first period 0-0 against the best team in the whole league – a team that is a lot better than us right now. So, I thought it was a good measuring stick to see how far we need to go to improve.”
Hausinger went down in the first period and not return to the game after a hard hit. Connor McClennon also left the game after going into the boards.
“I haven’t had an update yet. They are both lower body injuries. Both really important guys on our team – a big loss,” said Patrick.
Rookie forward Michael Milne was the lone ICE player to see the back of the net, with his first WHL goal. Milne has played in five games this season, with this being his first point.
“I’ve been really happy with him. He just came in and worked his tail off. He’s such a good skater, and he works so hard. Every game he’s played he has created scoring chances,” said Patrick.
At the end of the game, the ICE was zero for eight on the power play, while the Raiders were one for four. Goaltender Duncan McGovern faced 56 shots throughout the contest.
“I thought I was seeing the puck pretty well. I thought the guys did a good job in front of me. I know 56 is a big number, but I thought, for the most part, we kept it to the outside and limited the high-end scoring chances,” said McGovern.
The ICE will look to get back into that elusive win column Nov. 28 as they take on the Moose Jaw Warriors.
The Warriors are 12-5-3-1 on the season and have defeated the ICE twice when they have met this season.
Puck drop will be 7 p.m. at Western Financial Place.