It seemed as if fate conspired against the Kootenay Ice on Wednesday night.
Travel delays due to an accident holding up traffic on the highway pushed the opening face-off back by and hour and the Ice fell into an early 2-0 hole on their way to a 3-2 loss to the Regina Pats on Wednesday night.
The loss snaps a six-game win streak for the Ice, which had won 10 of their last 11 games going into the affair against the Pats.
Jagger Dirk and Luke Philp provided offence for the Ice, while Connor Gay, Dyson Stevenson and Braden Christoffer supplied the goals for Regina.
Ice captain Sam Reinhart extended his point streak to 15 games, tallying an assist on Dirk’s goal.
Ice goaltender Mackenzie Skapski made 28 saves in defeat, while Daniel Wapple picked up the win for the Pats with 27 stops.
Concerning the loss, Ice head coach Ryan McGill put most of the blame on bad habits from his players that crept back into the team game.
“We were average tonight,” McGill said. “I think some of our bad habits caught us tonight because not only did we play a good team tonight, we played four teams that are 20 points below us in the standings.
“Our combative levels, our compete levels and our shift management was not good tonight.”
Gay opened the scoring five minutes into the game, scoring on a delayed powerplay opportunity with six Pats skaters buzzing in the Kootenay zone. Just after the halfway mark of the frame, Christoffer doubled the Regina lead.
However, the Ice struck back under two minutes later, with Dirk finishing on a slick passing play between Reinhart and Philp on Kootenay’s third-overall ranked powerplay.
The two teams traded goals in the second period, with Steveson regaining the Pats’ two-goal lead four minutes into the frame.
But Kootenay answered back with a goal on a lucky bounce off Regina defenceman Jesse Zgraggen, which was credited to Philp.
The two teams held each other scoreless in the third period, both goaltenders shutting the door on some great scoring opportunities, notably when Ice D-man Tyler King was denied on a quality chance for the equalizer.
Kootenay was missing the services of Kyle O’Connor (lower body) and Tim Bozon, who exited the Moose Jaw game in the third period on Tuesday night. Ice forward Jon Martin skated in the Regina warm-ups, but didn’t end up on the bench for the game.
Martin and Bozon will be reassessed on Thursday to see if they are fit for game action on the weekend, according to McGill. O’Conner is a longer-term injury who will be out at least another week or two.