ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END:
The Kootenay Ice saw their 7 game undefeated and 6 game winning streak come to an end this past weekend when the Kelowna Rockets, Calgary Hitmen, and Regina Pats came to town. The Ice played three games in three nights and were defeated 3-2 by both the Rockets and the Hitmen before taking an 8-5 victory over the Regina Pats. The Ice are now 13-7-4-0 (8-5-1-0 at home and 5-2-3-0 on the road.) The Ice are still holding on to second place in the Central Division. The Ice take to the road this week for a 6-game road trip and are hoping to break the franchise record of five consecutive wins on the road, with which they are currently tied.
WHO’S DOING WHAT:
Mike Green is now only 7 points away from breaking the franchise record for career points.
Brad Tutschek has scored points in six of his last seven games (4-4-8).
Steve McCarthy recorded his 100th career WHL point on Wednesday, November 17th when he scored the first goal of the game (which turned out to be the game winner) versus Lethbridge.
Dan Blackburn bettered his average even after taking two losses this past weekend. Blackburn is now 7-3-0-0 in his last ten appearances with a 2.16 GAA and .920 save percentage with 12 shutout periods. Dan became the first 16 year old goaltender in the last 10 years to record a shut-out (vs. Lethbridge.) Kudos, Dan!
Graham Belak recorded his 700th career penalty minute in the Lethbridge game.
The Ice have now defended 88% of the oppositions power-plays (83) and have allowed only 10 goals in that span.
Steve McCarthy returned to the line-up on November 17th after missing three games with a slight knee strain.
Tyler Beechey is now listed as day-to-day with his shoulder injury.
Normally here, I would just list the scores and goals of the games, but I would like to add a few notes for each game.
November 17th – Kootenay 3 @ Lethbridge 0
Ice Goals:McCarthy (Blatny, Tutschek)
Green (Jaffray, Lassu)
Goalie:Dan Blackburn (25 Saves 0 GA)
NOTES:After being shutout on their last visit to Lethbridge, Dan Blackburn recorded his first ever shutout against rivals, the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
November 19th – Kootenay 2 vs. Kelowna 3
Ice Goals:Burt (Tutschek)
Blatny (Tutschek, Svoboda)
Goalie:Dan Blackburn (26 saves 3 GA)
NOTES:Perhaps the Ice went into this game with a little bit of a carefree attitude after winning 4-2 in their last game versus the Rockets. It probably didn’t help after learning that the Rockets head coach was dismissed earlier in the week. If anything, this game showed the Ice that they should not take things for granted. It was truly disappointing to see the streak end in this game. The Rockets were up 3-1 when Blatny put one home with 35 seconds left in the game.
November 20th – Kootenay 2 vs. Calgary 3
Ice Goals:Stoll (Jaffray, Fischer)
Stoll (Jaffray, Svoboda)
Goalie:Dan Blackburn (28 Saves 3 GA)
NOTES:Whether or not it is early in the season or late, every game against the Calgary Hitmen feels like a playoff game. This was no exception. The Ice played tremendously throughout this game but then Chris Neilson picked off a Brad Tutschek giveaway and scored unassisted, to give the Hitmen the victory. The Ice played in front of a capacity crowd and even though they took the loss, (now 1-2 against Calgary) the fans showed their appreciation for a well-played game.
November 21st – Kootenay 8 vs. Regina 5
Ice Goals:Hamula (Green, Blatny)
Burt (Hamula, McCarthy)
Tutschek (Svoboda, Johnson)
Burt (McCarthy, Tutschek)
Blatny (Stoll, Sinclair)
Goalie:B.J. Boxma (45 Minutes – 17 saves, 5GA)
Dan Blackburn (15 Minutes – 8 saves, 0GA)
NOTES:Besides looking like a tennis match for most of the game with goals been swapped back and forth, there were a few tense moments in this game. In the second period, Graham Belak (who has had a history of concussions) went into the boards after Scott Balan hit him from behind. He lay on the Ice for a few minutes before returning to the Ice bench. Belak did not return for the third period. Svoboda was checked awkwardly into the boards with just over a minute left in the game and left the ice favoring his right leg. Neither player was added to the WHL injury list, so we can hope to have them playing on the six game road trip, which starts tomorrow. On a more serious note, on-site medical staff attended to Brett Bartel (of the Regina Pats) when he slid headfirst into the boards after diving at Richard Hamula while chasing a two on one. Bartel was down for several minutes before he was able to leave for the Regina dressing room under his own will. The WHL injury report lists that Bartel has sustained both back and rib injuries and will be out of the line-up for a few weeks. Best wishes to Brett for a speedy recovery. No one likes to see a player seriously injured, whether they play for you or not.
The Ice start a six-game road trip tomorrow (Wednesday, November 24th) during which they will face:
November 24 – Prince Albert Raiders
November 26 – Saskatoon Blades
November 27 – Swift Current Broncos
November 30 – Calgary Hitmen
December 3 – Seattle Thunderbirds
December 4 – Portland Winterhawks
ICE SCORING SUMMARY: