The Ice will have their hands full on Sunday when the Raiders come to town on Sunday.
Prince Albert is off to a hot start, with no losses in regulation to date and four wins, one of which was a 4-1 victory against the reigning WHL champions in the Edmonton Oil Kings on Thursday night.
The Ice, in turn, are looking for a boost after an emotional 4-2 loss to the Lethbridge Hurricanes last Saturday, which included a third-period line brawl that got Kootenay forward Jon Martin suspended for three games.
However, that boost may come with the return last year’s captain to the bench.
Drew Czerwonka has been cleared to play against the Raiders, and has been on the ice during practice for the last two weeks.
The 20-year-old has missed the beginning of the season for the second straight year as the veteran came into training camp with an undisclosed upper-body injury.
His leadership on the bench could help staunch a few of the discipline problems that cropped up during the tilt with the Hurricanes.
“PA is a good team,” said Czerwonka. “They’re coming in here with a good record right now and I think we’re going to have to get back to basics and work hard.
“We’re not going to win hockey games unless we have every single guy working hard.”
Watching the Lethbridge affair from the press box was tough, as Czerwonka said the team lost its work ethic and focus, which contributed towards the third-period meltdown.
“I think we retaliated and they retaliated and it ended up being a bit of a gong show there at the end,” said Czerwonka, “so it was a pretty intense game, that stuff is always going to happen, we just got to try and stay out of it.”