Playoff seeding at stake as Ice wrap up season

Kootenay looks to keep their hold on fifth place heading into home and home series with the Hitmen.

The Kootenay Ice have one last statement to make this season as they get set for a home and home finale with the Calgary Hitmen.

Dropping the last two affairs in one-goal losses to the Oil Kings and Rebels, the Ice are trying to keep their grasp on fifth place in the Eastern Conference..

Calgary, in turn, is trying to wrest first place away from Edmonton—meaning both the Ice and the Hitmen will have something to play for when they go head-to-head this weekend.

Though Kootenay has the edge with a 4-1-1-0 record in the season series, head coach Ryan McGill said that the past doesn’t matter, especially with playoff seeding consequences on the line.

“It’s different for everybody,” said McGill. “We’re desperate to try to stay in the fifth spot and they’re desperate to try to get the number one spot. This is going to be a different animal this weekend.

“This isn’t just about previous success—I think this is going to be two desperate hockey teams and obviously, we’re shorthanded and they’re not, so it’ll be a test of our character and it’ll be a test of how well we can play defensively.”

Kootenay will play host for the final home game of the season on Friday. It will also be Awards Night, as the club will hand out team awards, save for the Playoff MVP, which will be handed out at the conclusion of the WHL post-season.

It’s a time of year where the out-of-town scoreboard can make a difference in the playoff seeding.

Calgary was in a dogfight for first overall, until Edmonton pulled ahead to lead by a pair of points. Edmonton finishes the season with a home and home series with the Rebels.

Kootenay, in turn, is only one point ahead of the Broncos, and will need to make a statement against Calgary to keep their tenuous hold on fifth place.

The Broncos can mathematically catch the Regina Pats for first in the East Division and second place in the Conference. The Pats, with 84 points—two ahead of the Ice—would take over fifth place and bump Kootenay down to sixth. Regina will wrap up their season with a home and home series with the Wheat Kings.

McGill wasn’t happy with a 1-0 loss in Edmonton, citing a lack of effort in some parts of the lineup. The 3-2 loss in Red Deer was a better game, but Rebels goaltender Patrik Bartosak stole the win with an unreal 47-save effort to hand the Ice their second defeat in as many nights.

WIth four games over five days, Kootenay—which traditionally practice every day of the week—had a day off on Thursday in advance of Calgary’s game on Friday.

It’s been an especially busy set of games for the defensive corps, which are missing Landon Cross and Landon Peel to injury.

“They’re doing the best they can,” McGill said of his defence. “They’re doing the best they can, we’re going to need Mackenzie [Skapski] to make some saves this weekend and when we get an opportunity to bury our chances, we’re going to have to bury our chances.

“It’s no different than any other time and, obviously, it’s a big weekend. We wish we weren’t in this position, but then at the same time, that’s hockey, and we have to deal with it.”

NOTES: The Kelowna Rockets clinched the Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy as regular season champions with a win over the Blazers on Wednesday.

 

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

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

KSCU Branch Manager Brent Jossy and assistant Manager, Tara Field, meet with David Bellm society President to present cheque. Submitted file
Kootenay Savings supports Indoor Tennis Society

The Kimberley Indoor Tennis Courts Society is grateful to Kootenay Savings Credit… Continue reading

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

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?

Most Read