Thursday, January 24, 2013

Streaking Ice battling for playoff spot

It's January but it's been mid-March for the Kootenay Ice for a long time. Winners of five straight and 12 of their last 13 including four straight road games and last night's key 3-2 win over the Medicine Hat Tigers at WFP. Every game seems like the proverbial playoff game now.

Jaedon Deschaneau got in on all three goals with three helpers - extending his point streak to 11 games - as did Sam Reinhart with a nice set-up of Kootenay's second goal, a tap-in by Brock Montgomery on the power play that gave the Ice the tying goal late in the second and Montgomery his 20th of the season and 2nd on the night.

Ryan McGill did some line juggling late last night, inserting Luke Philp back on the line with Deschaneau and Reinhart where Montgomery had spent most of the evening. The winning goal, a great shift by Philp, Deschaneau and Reinhart, only to have the latter head off on a change with O'Connor coming on. I thought that Deschaneau and Philp had stayed on the ice too long after a great shift forechecking in the Tiger end but on the Tiger breakout Philp found an extra gear and stripped Miles Koules of the puck and got it to O'Connor, who sent a puck to the net only to have Philp drive the net for the rebound and winning goal.

On the Tanner Faith hit last night, I didn't see it originally but it is here. Clearly Faith is in a vulnerable position but it wasn't from behind. Doty did have to answer to Leach but I think that will be the end of it. I couldn't find video of Austin Vetterl's check-from-behind in the first but he's lucky he stayed in the game. It was an ugly one.

Gotta admire where this team has come from in the last month. It's clear that they believe that they're a rebuilt club now and not 'rebuilding' any longer and can get to the playoffs. After that, who knows?

The schedule doesn't help them in that it's on the road but really, the way this club seems unfazed by the road or an opponent's lead or anything of late, it's clear that the four points to make up on Medicine Hat and Saskatoon for a playoff spot isn't out of the realm of possibility here. Hell, the club is only six points out of 5th in the Eastern Conference and must scare the heck out of any teams in front of them right now.

One poster posted the link that WHL Commissioner Ron Robison was talking about trouble spots attendance-wise that the league is watching. That story is right here.

Robison mentions PG specifically - who just hired former Ice head coach Mark Holick - and is languishing at around 1920 in average attendance. Kootenay sits at 2320 while PA is at 2626.

The streak continues as the Ice hit the road again for a Friday date in Moose Jaw and Saturday in Regina. Four big points that could see the team in a playoff spot at the end of the weekend.


ELL said...

The Ice have had some great wins against the top teams. My fingers are crossed that they don't have a let down against the new cellar dwellers. Great work lately by Vetterl, Boyd and Martin.

DeeJay said...

tempetn Way back on Dec 30, a wise man posted the following:

"For anyone not listening, the Kootenay Ice will be a good team in the very near future. "

Prophetic words indeed!

Anonymous said...

They'll be a good team Nanaimo or Winnipeg if we don't get butts in the seats! There needs to be a push for new spectators as I keep finding the missing ones in the obits.

Anonymous said...

Good point. With the WHL looking to move 2 franchises I'm thinking if the attendance doesn't turn drastically Kootenay will be one of the teams moving.

Anonymous said...

So go down and tell your local owner to market his team and promote it to the fans again. Not once every three years blurt out in the media the hockey should sell itself.

Anonymous said...

To early to say the most important game of the year tomorrow? The games left against Leth and Hat will decide the final playoff spot I believe and throw in the traditional last 2 games against Hitmen??? Lots of hockey to go yet. Good luck Ice!! Far as the posts about moving the Ice. Forget it, they aren't going anywhere.

Anonymous said...

"Forget it, they aren't going anywhere." - Site your sources. Lots of info that points to the possibility of a move.

Anonymous said...

Careful this team might get even younger next year - lots of talk about players asking for trades at the end of the season

Anonymous said...

what happened at the hurricanes bench after the game. I read that Rich Preston and his assistant coach got in a fight with fans and a fan got a water bottle in the face from a player? really? what the hell is with that?

Anonymous said...

they will be lucky then if a player wont get charged with assualt then if a fan is upset with that. no need for physical contact whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

All part of the game. Lets talk playoffs. Looks like the Ice will overtake Hurricanes and Tigers. I'm going with a 6th place finish for the Ice. What do you think of that?

Jeff said...

Nothing to worry about. The fan, who is a regular visitor to the blog, had some niceties for the Hurricane bench and former Ice Dman Mike Simpson squirted him with some water. I didn't see Preston get involved at all.

anon ice fan, lol. said...

hahaha it was funny on my end. cant believe how many people crowded around to see preston absolutly lose it like a 5 year old girl on some fans. Jeff, preston was hauled away by securtity guards and by his assistant coaches kicking and swearing at the top of his lungs. was quite the show wish it was on tape, id love to watch it again. He had his tie undone, his jacket off, his shirt unbuttoned a few buttons and was foaming at the mouth. Guy has always been a loser and always will be. pretty sure he wanted to fight me! hahaha

dont blame us for the loss coach, your team never showed up. Or they were thinking about us maybe?

And yeah I had some nice things to say back when a profesional coach screams at us to "F off you F'n A-holes, take your $11 ticket and take a hike you A-holes, why the F are you still hanging around". hahaha what a cry baby.

Just for the record when we sit and razz the bench, we DO NOT swear, We DO NOT talk dirty, or about moms or girl friends ect. We merely pick apart the players games, stats, passes, icings, off sides, missed shots or whatever ammo we can come up with(thats clean) and let er rip.

I was wondering what guy got me with the water bottle hahaha! good on ya simpson, hey at least you hit something that night eh?

just an ICE fan( care to remain anon today)