Forward Luke Philp returns to lead the Kootenay Ice in their 2014-15 season opener against the Red Deer Rebels Friday night.

Forward Luke Philp returns to lead the Kootenay Ice in their 2014-15 season opener against the Red Deer Rebels Friday night.

Ice look to play spoiler in Alberta

The Kootenay Ice open the 2014-15 WHL season in Red Deer against the Rebels Friday night

Taylor Rocca

The Kootenay Ice are set to open the 2014-15 WHL regular season on the road this weekend, beginning Friday at the ENMAX Centrium in Red Deer against Brent Sutter’s Rebels.

“If you’re going to make the playoffs, you’ve got to win those divisional games early so you aren’t scrambling late,” said Kootenay Ice head coach Ryan McGill Thursday afternoon.

The Ice opened the 2013-14 regular season against the Rebels, falling 4-2 at home on Sept. 20, 2013. Kootenay went on to post a record of 2-6-0 in eight games against the Rebels in 2013-14.

The Rebels closed out the 2014 pre-season 3-3-0.

Following Friday’s tilt in Red Deer, the Ice continue north in hopes of crashing the Oil Kings banner-raising party in Edmonton Saturday night.

The Oil Kings were crowned Western Hockey League champions in 2013-14, trumping the Portland Winterhawks in a seven-game thriller before moving on to claim Memorial Cup glory in London, Ont.

“When you go into two buildings having their opening night, you’d like to try to be a spoiler,” McGill said. “Hopefully [you’re] a little more focused than them and try to get out to a quick start.”

Edmonton wrapped up the pre-season 2-3-0.

Forwards Jon Martin and Luke Philp will bolster Kootenay’s lineup after returning from short stints at NHL rookie camps.

Martin, 19, rejoined the club earlier this week after time with the Vancouver Canucks in Penticton, B.C. The Winnipeg native registered a goal for the Canucks Young Stars Sept. 15 in a 6-1 loss to the Calgary Flames Young Stars.

Philp, also 19, was in London, Ont. at Toronto Maple Leafs rookie camp. According to McGill, he will join the team in time to suit up for Friday’s season opener in Red Deer. The native of Canmore, Alta. led the Ice in pre-season scoring (4G, 1A) despite only suiting up for two games prior to jetting for Leafs camp.

The Ice wrapped up the 2014 WHL pre-season Sept. 14, dropping a 4-1 decision to the Calgary Hitmen in Crowsnest Pass, Alta. Kootenay closed out the exhibition campaign 1-4-0.

Though lineups won’t be released until closer to puck drop (7 p.m. Friday and Saturday), Kootenay will undoubtedly ice a relatively young squad with six players at NHL training camps.

Included on that list are F Tim Bozon (Montreal Canadiens), F Sam Reinhart (Buffalo Sabres) and G Mackenzie Skapski (New York Rangers). Those three are considered long shots to return to Cranbrook this season. F Jaedon Descheneau (St. Louis Blues), D Tanner Faith (Minnesota Wild) and D Rinat Valiev (Toronto Maple Leafs) have all joined their respective clubs for main camp and will also be unavailable.

With that in mind, the extended tryout continues for youngsters both upfront and on the blue line.

Forwards Shane Allan, River Beattie, Jared Legien, Vince Loschiavo and Austin Wellsby continue to vie for ice time as do defencemen Bryan Allbee, Cale Fleury, Mark O’Shaughnessy and Dylan Overdyk.

The Ice are not expected to re-assign any players this week. Following last week’s exhibition loss to Calgary, McGill said staff would begin discussions as players are returned to the club from NHL camps. Evaluations will continue through the weekend.

Following this weekend, Kootenay returns to Red Deer for a re-engagement with the Rebels Sept. 27.

The Ice return to Cranbrook Oct. 3 to host the Spokane Chiefs in the team’s home opener at Western Financial Place.

Just Posted

The latest EKASS survey confirms a steady decline in substance use among EK youth over the years. (image compilation via Pixabay)
Latest survey shows steady decline in adolescent substance use over the years

Starting in 2002, the survey has been conducted every two years to monitor changes in substance use patterns, attitudes and behaviors amongst East Kootenay youth.

The Aquatic Centre at Western Financial Place.
Cranbrook Aquatic Center to close temporarily

The annual shutdown of the Aquatic Center at Western Financial Place will begin earlier than scheduled this year and does not have a defined end date at this time.

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Ryan McKenzie of the Kimberley Trails Society made an in-depth presentation to City Council describing the initial steps of the Electrify the Mountains eBike trails project. This is a look at the project one map.
Kimberley City Council hears details on Electrify the Mountain project

At the meeting of City Council on Tuesday, June 8 Ryan McKenzie… Continue reading

The Kimberley Public Library invites kids of all ages to join the 2021 BC Summer Reading Club. Kimberley Public Library file
Kimberley kids invited to join summer reading club at Public Library

The Kimberley Public Library invites kids of all ages to join the… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Most Read