Despite dropping two games to the Thompson Blazers on the weekend, the Kootenay Ice remain in playoff contention.
According to new rules outlined by BCMML, the top 10 teams (previously top-8) will make the playoffs, leaving just one team on the outside.
The Ice are tied with the Greater Vancouver Canadians for 10th place with 15 points, after falling to the Blazers 7-2 on Saturday and 3-1 on Sunday.
Kootenay played a tight checking game on Sunday, but the Blazers special teams came up big scoring two power play goals and a shorthanded marker for a 3-0 lead. Ice forward Jacob Smith broke the shutout bid with 57 seconds remaining in the third period for the 3-1 final.
In Saturday’s match Noah Quinn gave the Ice a 1-0 lead midway through the first period in what was a promising start for the Ice. However, the Blazers broke out in the second scoring four times. Smith scored a shorthanded marker at 16:32 to cut the lead to 4-2, but goals by Thompson’s Devin Jameson, Dylan Sydor and Zak Anderson killed any chance of a Kootenay comeback.
Quinn leads the Ice in scoring with 19 goals and 38 points, while Smith notched his ninth goal of the season for 19 points.
The bottom-four of the 10 teams will play-off in a first mini-round with the winners moving on to face off as the seventh and eighth seed against the top-six teams.
The Ice have a bye this weekend but the road does not get any easier for Kootenay as they play the 20-10-1-1 Cariboo Cougars the following week, the 11-14-2-5 Valley West Giants and finish the season at home against the 23-8-0-1 Vancouver NW Hawks. Needless to say, a couple wins would go a long way to ensure a playoff berth.