Hubic heads to defence to cover injuries

Kootenay prepares for mid-week contest with the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

Ice goaltending coach Mike Bergren works with goaltenders Wyatt Hoflin and Mackenzie Skapski before practice on Tuesday afternoon at Western Financial Place.

Ice goaltending coach Mike Bergren works with goaltenders Wyatt Hoflin and Mackenzie Skapski before practice on Tuesday afternoon at Western Financial Place.

It’s no surprise that the Kootenay Ice announced that Tanner Faith is out indefinitely with an upper-body injury following Sunday’s tilt against the Thunderbirds.

Faith went hard into the end boards and needed some help from trainer Cory Cameron to get off the ice.

The team is also without the services of Landon Peel, who is day to day with a lower body injury. Peel missed two games over the weekend against the Hitmen and the Thunderbirds.

That leaves five defencemen going into Wednesday against the Hurricanes in Lethbridge.

However, Jeff Hubic, a defenceman in his rookie year who eventually moved up to forward, will revert back to his old position to give the D-corps some relief.

The team will be able to field six rearguards with Hubic’s versatility against Lethbridge, however, Peel should back by the weekend, according to Ice head coach Ryan McGill.

With three games in as many nights, Sunday’s affair with the Thunderbirds was as much a mental test as it was a physical one, said McGill.

“Three games in three nights—the third night is a mental test and we’re a young team,” McGill said. “At times in the game on Sunday, I thought we did a good job and at other times, I thought we didn’t do enough to make sure that we didn’t give up any easy opportunities.”

WIth a roster infused with youth, every game—win or lose—is a learning situation, McGill added.

“We only have one three-and-three left, which is later on this month, which is a good sign for us,” said McGill, “but at the same time, you have to learn from those things and really hold yourself accountable mentally that you’re going to do all the little things correctly that are going to give you success if you don’t really have your legs underneath you.”

Levi Cable, who was held pointless over the weekend, agreed, noting that it can be challenging to get ready for multiple teams on a weekend stretch.

“It was new for the rookies and it’s physically tough and mentally, just getting prepared for all different teams,” Cable said.

The Ice have already faced the ‘Canes once this season, which ended with a shootout victory after Lethbridge was able to claw their way back into it in the third period.

Kootenay also gave up a lead on the road in Calgary last Friday, and can’t happen in order to be successful, said McGill.

“We obviously have to learn how to protect leads,” McGill said, “especially on the road, getting a 2-0 lead on the road, it doesn’t matter where you are, you still have to do things the right way to keep that lead and we’re still learning that.”

In six games so far in the new season, the Hurricanes only have one win, and they’ll be hungry in front of a home crowd.

Following Wednesday’s game, the Ice head up to Medicine Hat to challenge the Tigers on Saturday, before hosting the Prince Albert Raiders on Sunday.