The Kootenay Ice, along with the Western Hockey League, announced schedules for the 2015-16 WHL season Tuesday morning.
For the Ice, the 2015-16 pre-season schedule is highlighted by the team’s first exhibition game in Cranbrook since 2010-11, as they host the Lethbridge Hurricanes at the Memorial Arena on Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.
“As a staff, we sat down and thought we haven’t played an exhibition game at home since 2010,” said Jeff Chynoweth, Kootenay Ice president and general manager, Tuesday afternoon.
“For what we draw in the big building [Western Financial Place], it would be nice to reminisce of the old days in the old Memorial Arena.
“It’s hard to believe major junior hockey was played in the Memorial Arena for two years. During that timeframe, fans saw a lot of things. We were very fortunate to win our first championship there in 2000.”
The game will mark the first Kootenay Ice contest to be played at the Memorial Arena since the team’s first WHL championship during the 1999-00 season. It will be the first exhibition game of the 2015 pre-season for the Ice after the completion of training camp, which is slated to run from Sunday, Aug. 30 through Thursday, Sept. 3.
The Ice spent its first two seasons (1998-99 and 1999-00) in Cranbrook playing out of the Memorial Arena after relocating from Edmonton following the 1997-98 WHL season.
After opening the 2015 WHL pre-season in Cranbrook, the Ice will travel to Kennewick, Wash., for the Tri-City Americans pre-season tournament from Sept. 9 to 12. The Tri-City tournament will feature all five U.S. Division teams (Tri-City Americans, Everett Silvertips, Portland Winterhawks, Seattle Thunderbirds and Spokane Chiefs) as well as the Ice, Red Deer Rebels and Prince George Cougars.
The Ice will face the Americans (Sept. 10 at 8:05 p.m.), Thunderbirds (Sept. 11 at 4 p.m.) and Cougars (Sept. 12 at 12 p.m.) while in Kennewick.
The Ice round out the 2015 WHL pre-season with the annual Crowsnest Pass tournament, taking on the Hurricanes (Sept. 17 at 7 p.m.) and Calgary Hitmen Sept. 19 at 7 p.m.).
Tickets for the Sept. 8 date against the Lethbridge Hurricanes will go on sale Monday, July 20 at 9 a.m. for season ticket holders only. Season ticket holders will have the right to purchase one ticket per season ticket due to limited seating.
Tickets for the general public go on sale Monday, Aug. 17.
Fans hoping to take in the Ice and Hurricanes at Memorial Arena will be looking at a cost of $10 per ticket.