Thursday, February 23, 2012

One step forward, another back

The Snakes and Ladders that is the Eastern Conference standings for the Kootenay Ice continued Wednesday night in Regina as the Pats outlasted the Ice 2-1. The Ice built up a 4-2 lead in Brandon the night before only to have it evaporate in the dying seconds though this time Jesse Ismond scored the only shootout goal to give the Ice the extra point in the standings in a 5-4 win.

Last night's highlites in Regina are here.

Though the video shows a lot of 2-on-1's I don't think it was reflective of the game as a whole. More of a goaltender's battle as both netminders played well. A stat that stands out however was the Ice going 0-6 on power play including a key 5-on-3 in the third period that fizzled. Jeff on the broadcast last night had an interesting stat that has the Ice 1-14 with the two-man advantage.

The Regina Leader-Post has a gamer here.

Scratches were F Drew Czerwonka, who is out with a knee injury for the next 4-6 weeks, and D Spencer Wand. F Luke Philp, 16, will likely join the club later this weekend in Saskatoon.

The loss puts the Ice at 33-20-4-4 and 74 points. The Calgary Hitmen leapfrogged them last night with a win over the Tigers, who are three up on the Ice with 77 points.

They didn't get the points but D Jeff Hubic continues to pump up the reputation as a big hitter and one that can throw 'em in a tussle with Regina D Kyle Burroughs. Video for that scrap is here.

Highlites against the Wheat Kings Tuesday night are here.

The Ice have more key match-ups this weekend against teams behind them in the standings. Saskatoon on Friday - that is televised on Sportsnet - and Saturday in Prince Albert against the Raiders.

With the Ice 11 points back of the Eastern Conference leading Edmonton Oil Kings with 11 games to go, the race has to realistically be for 3rd in the conference as the Tigers sit just three points up and are fighting some key injuries with F Kale Kessy, F Hunter Shinkaruk and G Tyler Bunz all out with upper body injuries, though listed as day-to-day.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think the referees giving the Ice the majority of the pp's is why they lost...

Anonymous said...

Jeff, as a coach what are your thoughts on continually changing lines? I believe if the Ice don't find the right combinations soon the playoff run will last 4 games. Every other team has a number one line. I'm not even sure who that is anymore for the Ice. Since the break the most consistant line has been Martins. Why?? Because for the most part that line stays in tact.

Jeff said...

That depends on the philosophy you employ. In Bantam hockey you can balance the lines - because it's rare you have three strong lines - or load up the top line.

Lots of things play into it: chemistry, injuries, someone hot, someone not etc.

You generally want your best players to be the best but also be on the ice the most.

Anonymous said...

Sam and Max on the blue line together on the pp. hahahahahahahahahahahahaha Do they have a sister that can be called up to play forward? What a joke!

Anonymous said...

The Ice finally found a dance partner for the eastern conf. 2 step. Best the pp has looked in a long time but more importantly a first period melt down turned into Ice. With PA running over every Ice player in site, Wand took exception to a hit thrown on Martin and went to his aid. Fists flying. This woke up the Ice and the Raiders were looking over there shoulders the rest of the night. Max continued his great play and Ismond looked really good with him in the third. PA is where they turned it around last year. Best team effort maybe this year.

Anonymous said...

Have they posted the playoff dates yet? Just wondering when they start?

Anonymous said...

March 23rd is the starting date of playoffs. At home or on the road? Totally in the Ice's hands as they have 3 against Calgary and 2 vrs the Hat. Win all 5 of these and they should get 3rd or 4th I think.

Anonymous said...

Just looked at Hollicks remain game schd. Very tough road ahead for the Ice. But there are no easy trails to the western league championship! Good luck guys!

Anonymous said...

championship? not with this teams work ethics. they are terrible the last half of the season. first half, they dominated anyone they wanted too, now they cant even work together for one full period!

Anonymous said...

Some teams get better, some don't. Some peak early,some late and some just in time. Don't count any team out in this division. If I had to pick a favorite, I couldn't. It will all be about goaltending in the playoffs. If Lu gets back to early season form the Ice have a chance. It will take a 1.90 or less average for him for the Ice to compete I think. I really like how Max has played the second half. Others need to step up.