Wyatt Hoflin and the Kootenay Ice visit the Red Deer Rebels tonight.

Wyatt Hoflin and the Kootenay Ice visit the Red Deer Rebels tonight.

‘We’ve just got to get points’

Kootenay Ice visit Red Deer Rebels and Edmonton Oil Kings looking to continue climb in WHL's Central Division

Taylor Rocca

The mission remains the same for the Kootenay Ice. It’s simple and straightforward.

“We’ve got to get points,” said Kootenay Ice head coach Ryan McGill. “It doesn’t matter how. We’ve just got to get points.”

On the heels of Tuesday’s 5-4 shootout loss to the Medicine Hat Tigers, the Ice hit the Alberta highways once again this weekend, visiting the Red Deer Rebels Friday and Edmonton Oil Kings Saturday.

The WHL’s Central Division has become a muddy mess in recent weeks, with a mere six points separating four teams in the middle of the divisional pack.

The second-place Rebels hold 45 points, while the third-place Calgary Hitmen trail by two points. The surging Ice remain four points back of Red Deer and two points up on the fifth-place Edmonton Oil Kings.

“Red Deer is playing very well right now,” McGill said. “We’ve got to go in with the mindset that we’ve got to collect points on the road, especially within our division.”

The Rebels come into Friday’s tilt fresh off an extra-time loss Tuesday night as well. The Swift Current Broncos rolled into Red Deer, using overtime to earn a 4-3 victory over the Rebels.

Outside that most recent setback, the Rebels have been a tough team to beat in the competitive Central Division. Sitting in second place behind the Tigers, the Rebels are 6-3-0-1 in their past 10 outings.

The Ice hope to receive a boost on the blue line as Dylan Overdyk (concussion) is close to returning.

The rookie rearguard has been sidelined since Nov. 21, but was scheduled to skate with the team Thursday.Overdyk’s showing Thursday will determine his status for Friday’s game in Red Deer.

In addition to Overdyk’s absence, the Ice have also been without defencemen Rinat Valiev (World Junior Championship, Russia) and Tanner Faith (upper body, indefinite) in recent weeks.

That reality presented opportunity for 19-year-old affiliate player Tanner Lishchynsky, who joined the Ice Dec. 27. The native of Saskatoon has registered one assist in three games since his arrival after posting 18 points in 29 games with the Flin Flon Bombers of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) this season.

“He’s been a consistent player for us,” McGill said of Lishchynsky. “He took a cross-checking penalty in the third period [Tuesday in Medicine Hat] that I think was just a result, more so, of the league he just played in [the SJHL] and not so much a result of not being a good player.

“He’s been a good player for us. He’s been consistent. He’s moved the puck well. He’s competitive.”

While the news on Overdyk and Lishchynsky is of the positive nature, the situation is not so rosy in regards to Faith.

Prior to Christmas, it was believed the veteran defenceman would return to action sometime around the new year. With Faith still on the shelf and his status downgraded from “week-to-week” to “indefinite,” there are more questions than answers.

According to McGill, Faith won’t be available anytime soon as he discusses rehabilitation options with his NHL club, the Minnesota Wild. The Wild used a fifth-round pick (139th overall) at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft to select Faith.

Puck drop between the Ice and Rebels is slated for 7 p.m.

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

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
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

It happened this week in 1914

June 13 - 19: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

Cranbrook Arts has opened the doors of their  new gallery space to the public with their inaugural exhibit, Kootenay’s Best.
‘Kootenay’s Best’ opens Cranbrook Arts’ new gallery

This exhibit has been in the works for the past several months and features the work of more than 50 emerging and established artists from across the Kootenays

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Most Read