Kootenay Ice goaltender Keelan Williams (#30

Kootenay Ice goaltender Keelan Williams (#30

Toppled in Moose Jaw

Rookie goaltender Keelan Williams "fantastic" in road loss to Warriors

Taylor Rocca

For the second consecutive night, the Kootenay Ice received a highlight-reel performance between the pipes and still left the rink empty-handed.

Rookie goaltender Keelan Williams earned his first career WHL start and, according to Kootenay Ice head coach Ryan McGill, turned in a “fantastic game” in relief of Wyatt Hoflin, making 35 saves in a losing effort as the Ice fell 3-1 to the Moose Jaw Warriors.

“He didn’t get a lot of help defensively,” McGill said over the phone Thursday night. “But he was there and gave us a chance going into the third period to win.”

The 18-year-old native of Calgary, Alta. beat out Jayden Sittler for the backup role at the conclusion of pre-season play and early indications suggest the decision to keep the calm and collected puck-stopper in Cranbrook was the right one. Williams’ 35 saves Thursday largely consisted of the acrobatic, show-stopping variety.

“Certainly not taking anything away from Wyatt, but if this kid [Williams] is going to push like that, we need to turn this into a competition rather than into a break [for Wyatt Hoflin],” McGill added.

“[Williams] has taken a step tonight to prove himself.”

Thursday night represented the first time in Kootenay’s first seven games Hoflin wasn’t in the blue paint to start the game. Williams had only seen cleanup duty Sept. 27 in a 7-1 loss to the Red Deer Rebels.

After a scoreless first period, the Warriors grabbed the lead for good when Torrin White popped a power-play marker past Williams 4:40 into the second. After handing the Regina Pats eight power-play opportunities Wednesday evening, the Ice followed up by giving another eight extra-man chances to the Warriors Thursday. Moose Jaw made good on 25 per cent of its power-play opportunities when Tanner Eberle added a later insurance marker with four seconds to play in regulation.

Warriors forward Brett Howden gave the Warriors the only insurance tally they needed midway through the third period when he banged a rebound past a helpless Williams who had already made one or two stops on the cagey 16-year-old Warrior. Howden’s goal put the Warriors up 2-0 in front of an announced crowd of 3,319 at Mosaic Place, and though Luke Philp’s short-handed tally with less than two minutes to play added a bit of suspense, the Ice were unable to draw even and fell to 1-5-0-0 on the road this season.

The Ice will try to salvage a three-game road trip tonight in Swift Current when they face the Broncos at 7 p.m. While three games in three nights may seem like a challenging task, McGill insists it is no excuse for his team’s performance this week, or early on in the 2014-15 WHL season.

“We need to learn to be competitive as individuals, but you need all 18 skaters to be competitive at the same time,” McGill said. “Really what it boils down to, is we’ve got to try to get everybody competitive and going in the right direction so when one line or one group of five people gain momentum, the next group out there continues with it and doesn’t give it up.”

Notes: D Rinat Valiev missed his seventh game due to a lower-body injury…F Jon Martin missed his second game with an upper-body injury and won’t be ready go to for tonight’s tilt with the Broncos…F Vince Loschiavo missed his first game with an upper-body injury…F Luke Philp’s third-period tally snapped of shutout streak of nearly 230 minutes for Warriors G Zach Sawchenkow, who was named CHL Goalie of the Week after blanking the Red Deer Rebels (3-0, Oct. 2) and Tri-City Americans (5-0, Oct. 4)…

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Kimberley residents were treated to the first Farmers' Market of the season, and the feeling of a return to normalcy. Paul Rodgers photos.
WATCH: Kimberley’s first Farmers’ Market of the season

Kimberley residents enjoyed the first Farmers’ Market of the year on Thursday,… Continue reading

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The B.C. woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

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

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Most Read