Austin Vetterl (pictured last season) and the Kootenay Ice visit the Prince Albert Raiders tonight at 7 p.m.

Into the great wide open

The Kootenay Ice return to Saskatchewan on two-game road swing

Taylor Rocca

The Kootenay Ice return to the land of living skies tonight when they visit the Prince Albert Raiders (4-6-0-0) at 7 p.m.

The Ice are coming off a 4-0 setback at the hands of the Victoria Royals Saturday night at Western Financial Place and sit 3-7-0-0 through 10 games to start the WHL regular season.

Forward Jaedon Descheneau believes execution is the key to success in Prince Albert.

“In the second period [against Victoria Saturday night] there were times we broke the puck out the way we drew it up on the board before the game, but we only did that twice and it happened to be back-to-back shifts,” Descheneau said Saturday. “If we execute on stuff like that, we’ll generate more offence. We’ll get on the rush and spend more time in their zone.”

The Ice have struggled offensively to start the campaign, tallying 20 goals through 10 games, the second-lowest total in the WHL. Descheneau has accounted for 25 per cent of the team’s offence with five goals to his credit.

Only the Lethbridge Hurricanes have scored less than the Kootenay Ice, with 19 goals for.

The Raiders come into Tuesday’s tilt fresh off a 4-2 win over the Red Deer Rebels Saturday night. The team will be without 20-year-old forward Dakota Conroy for the first time this season, after he left the club and was subsequently suspended Monday afternoon.

“We are disappointed with Dakota’s decision but will respect it,” said Raiders general manager Bruno Campese in a team release.

Conroy had tallied one goal and one assist through 10 games. His departure leaves centre Jayden Hart and defenceman Sawyer Lange as the two remaining 20-year-olds on the Raiders roster.

The Ice will once again be without F Jon Martin who hurt himself after slamming into the boards Saturday night. The 19-year-old forward was in his second game back from an upper-body injury sustained Oct. 4 in Calgary. Martin is expected to miss one to two weeks. Defenceman Rinat Valiev is also one to two weeks from being ready as he continues to nurse a lower-body injury.

Forwards Tim Bozon and Vince Loschiavo are listed as day-to-day. Bozon is fighting a lower-body injury but travelled with the team.

Loschiavo is dealing with an upper-body injury he suffered Oct. 8 in Regina during the team’s last Saskatchewan road trip.

Following tonight’s game in Prince Albert, the Ice move on to visit the Saskatoon Blades (3-7-0-0) Wednesday night at 7 p.m.

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