Ice mauled by Tigers

Kootenay badly outplayed in a 5-2 loss to Medicine Hat.

Mackenzie Skapski had another busy night in net.

The Kootenay Ice goaltender was hung out to dry with 42 saves as the Tigers skated to a dominant 5-2 win in Medicine Hat on Thursday night.

Kootenay’s front line struggled with 20 shots in return against call-up netminder Zac Robidoux, as goals came from Jon Martin and Tim Bozon.

Trevor Cox and Curtis Valk both had a pair of goals, while Steven Owre also lit the goal lamp to supply offence for the Tigers.

“The root of our problem right now is our effort,” said Ice assistant coach Jay Henderson. “We’re failing to show up, failing to compete—we’re not competing at all and the effort’s not there.”

Medicine Hat took control right from the start of the game, jumping up to a 2-0 lead in the opening period and outshooting the Ice 18-6.

Cox got the first goal of the game during a three-on-one rush into Kootenay territory with a tic-tac-toe play 10 minutes into the game. Late in the period, the Tabbies doubled the lead as Valk’s cross-ice pass hit a skate and deflected into the net on a Medicine Hat powerplay.

The Ice woes continued into the second period, with Valk making it a three-goal lead off another deflection four minutes into the action.

Martin managed to get the monkey off the back for the Ice, scoring off a behind-the-net feed from Bozon.

Down two goals in the third period, the Tigers continued to attack and restored a three-goal lead from Owre in the last 10 minutes of the game.

Bozon scored on one of only two powerplays for the Ice, finishing on a passing play from Luke Philp and newcomer defenceman Tyler King, who picked up his first point in his debut with Kootenay.

Cox hammered the final nail in the coffin with an empty net goal in the final minute.

“I think it comes down to preparation,” continued Henderson. “I don’t know if we’re feeling sorry for ourselves or what the issue is, but it comes down to preparation. They’re Western Hockey League players, they should be able to show up and play and compete and we’re not doing that.”

Though Kootenay struggled on the shot clock, Jaedon Descheneau hit the post, while Bozon also rang two shots off the iron.

Kootenay is at a 0.500 record at 19-19-2-1 and has a tenuous hold on eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

Kootenay heads back home and will face the visiting Swift Current Broncos at Western Financial Place on Friday evening.