Ice prepare for exhibition tournament

Kootenay gets in a few practices this week before hitting the road for a tournament hosted by the Tri-City Americans.

Ice head coach Ryan McGill chats with goaltender Wyatt Hoflin during practice on Wednesday afternoon at Western Financial Place.

Ice head coach Ryan McGill chats with goaltender Wyatt Hoflin during practice on Wednesday afternoon at Western Financial Place.

The wheels on the bus go ‘round and ‘round—all the way to Kennewick in Washington state as the Kootenay Ice head to the home of the Tri-City Americans for an exhibition tournament this weekend.

They’ll leave on Thursday morning, with enough time to get to the rink and suit up for an evening game against their hosts. Kootenay also faces off against Spokane and Everett on Friday and Saturday night.

For the nine remaining prospects—a goaltender, three defencemen, and five forwards—the tournament will be critical to determining their immediate future with the Ice.

However, with only two days of team practices, there is a huge learning curve with adopting  new systems and fitting into roles, said Ice head coach Ryan McGill.

“We got a lot of work to cover in two short days so we’re at least a little bit organized coming into the games for these guys, give them a little bit of structure,” McGill said. “There’s a lot to absorb and we’re asking a lot of these guys. They just started their first week of school, they got a lot on their minds and obviously, it’s a week where they have a lot thrown at them.

“We want them to go out this weekend and showcase themselves versus other players in the league rather than their peer group here that they’ve been playing against all week, so it’s going to be a big test for them.”

With Mackenzie Skapski attending training camp with the New York Rangers, prospect Jayden Sittler stayed after camp, and will share netminding duties with Wyatt Hoflin.

McGill’s plan, as of Wednesday evening, is to start Hoflin on Thursday and Saturday, with Sittler getting his shot on Friday night.

However, as with any player and position on the team, ice time has to be earned, added McGill.

Zachary Zborosky, one of the five prospect forwards, had a strong camp and is looking to take that into the exhibition season.

“I was pretty happy with myself, can’t say I’m satisfied, but I thought I did good out there,” said the Regina native, on his training camp experience.

Going up against other WHL teams is going to be a step up from intrasquad scrimmages, he said.

“I expect the game to be much faster and bigger guys out there and it’s going to be tougher than Midget,” Zborosky said.

He spent his past season playing in the Saskatchewan Midget Hockey League (SMHL) with the Regina Pat Canadians, scoring 22 goals and tallying 30 assists in 42 games.

After the Tri-City tournament, the Ice have two more remaining pre-season games in the Crowsnest Pass against Calgary and Lethbridge.


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