The Kootenay Ice lost a pair of close games to the Vancouver NW Giants at the UBC Sports Centre, as the BC Major Midget League wrapped up the first half of the season on the weekend.
On Saturday, the Ice fell behind 2-0 after two periods, but Montrose native Jesse Ihas scored his second of the year on the power play finishing a nice set up from Quaid Anderson and Simon Nemethy to draw the Ice to within one.
Kootenay had a great opportunity to tie the game when the Giants Cooper Connell took a cross-checking penalty with 4:34 left on the clock. However, goalie Niklas Hoem stood tall and the Vancouver team killed the penalty and closed out the match with an empty netter by Jacob Fournier with 11 seconds to play.
In Sunday’s match, penalties hurt the Ice as the Giants Matteo Pecchia scored two power-play goals on the way to a 3-0 shut-out win.
The losses drop the 6-12-0-2 Ice into a tie for ninth place in the BCMML standings. While the team has competed hard in every game, points have been elusive particularly against teams lower in the standings.
The 11 BCMML teams played each other twice in the first half, and now the second half will see a repeat but in the other team’s barn. After putting on thousands of road miles in the first half that included back-to-back trips to Vancouver Island, the second half sets up more favourable for the Ice.
The Ice delivered the league-leading Valley West Hawks (17-2-1-0) one of its two losses earlier this season, and will look for more this weekend when they travel to Delta for a two-game tilt against the Hawks to kick off the back end of the season.
Kootenay then returns home Dec. 16 and 17 for games against the Vancouver NE Chiefs, and starts the new year at home for back-to-back weekends against the Vancouver Canadians, Jan. 20-21, and the Okanagan Rockets, Jan. 27-28.