The BC Major Midget Kootenay Ice hits Cominco ice this weekend fighting for a playoff berth.
However, a split against the Vancouver NW Giants won’t be good enough, as the 13-21-0-4 Ice need two victories combined with at least one loss from the Vancouver NE Chiefs to guarantee a spot in the postseason.
Kootenay trails the NE Chiefs by two points and the Thompson Blazers by four points, as they get set to take on the sixth place Giants in their final regular-season matchups.
The Ice went 1-1 last weekend against the third-place Fraser Valley Thunderbirds, losing the first game 2-1 before bouncing back for a critical 6-2 victory on Sunday.
Kootenay forwad Jaxson Waterstreet scored the winning goal at 13:55 of the second period to break a 2-2 tie and keep the Ice in the playoff hunt. Waterstreet, a 16-year-old Fruitvale native, finished a nice setup from Booker Daniel and Mason McLeod to count his fourth goal of the season and twelfth point.
Daniel meanwhile exploded for four goals and an assist in Game 2, while Mason McLeod scored once and added two assists.
The Ice came hard out of the gate and McLeod, a Dawson Creek product, put Kootenay up 1-0 just 2:09 into the first period. However, the Chiefs scored twice within a 14 second span and went up 2-1 on goals from Dylan Stoltz and Mainse Jackson at 15:07 of the first.
But Daniel notched his first of the game to tie it on a McLeod setup at 15:15 of the second period, and Waterstreet’s winner came less than 90 seconds after that.
Kootenay’s Daniel scored another one before the period was out and added two more in the final frame.
The win kept the Ice in contention but left them on the outside looking in after the NE Chiefs earned 3-of-4 points in a 7-4 win and a 3-3 tie against the North Island Silvertips.
In Game 1, Daniel scored at 17:10 of the second period to tie the game, but Fraser Valley’s Justin Plett beat Jake Kemp with 2:17 left in the middle frame to stand up as the game winner.
The NE Chiefs battle the Thompson Blazers in their final two games this weekend, and can move into seventh with a sweep of the Blazers.
The Ice open their two-game set against the NW Giants at 4 p.m. at the Cominco Arena on Saturday, and at 9:45 a.m. on Sunday.