Kootenay Ice goalie Carsten Shrimpton earned the shutout and Whitehorse product Connor Cooper scored the game winner in a 2-0 victory over the Greater Vancouver Canadians on Saturday.
The Ice’s fifth win guaranteed the split in Vancouver, as the Canadians rebounded for a 6-2 win in Game 2 on Sunday.
After a scoreless first period, the 15-year-old Cooper converted a setup from Trail affiliate player Nathan Dann just 78 seconds into the middle frame to give the Ice a 1-0 lead.
The Canadians had a glorious chance to tie it when Kootenay took a penalty with 2:55 remaining in regulation. Kootenay goalie Shrimpton, however, came up big, the Ice killed the penalty, and Kaleb Percival scored into the Canadians vacant net with 16 seconds left on the clock, with assists to Kjell Osborne and Adam Parsons, for the victory.
Kootenay outshot the Canadians 31-29, with the Ice already surpassing their win total (4) of last year.
The Ice have a strong trio of Whitehorse, Yukon players that include defenceman Cooper, and forwards Ashton Underhill and Cole Cowan. The pipeline to the Yukon may be a long one, but Trail has put it to good use, with the Trail Smoke Eaters picking up Bryce Anderson last season, before trading him earlier this year. Kootenay also has had a recent history of Yukon products grace their squads. Connor’s brother Matthew along with Johnny Elias and Niall Lawrie all played for the Kootenay team in 2017, while Joshua Austin and Wyatt Peterson played for the Ice last season.
In Game 2, G.V. came out determined in the first period and jumped out to a 3-0 lead on two goals from Benjamin Ruthven, and a single from Jack Hemsley.
Ice leading points-getter Noah Quinn of Nelson scored his fifth of the season to cut the lead to 3-1 in the second period. Goals from Gavin Bains and Jaden Procter less than four minutes into the third made it 5-1 Canadians, before Kootenay forward Osbourne tallied the Ice’s second goal.
Procter then notched his second of the game and sixth of the campaign for the 6-2 final, as G.V. outshot Kootenay 31-26.
The Ice host the Valley West Giants this weekend with Saturday’s game going at 4 p.m. at the Cominco Arena, and Sunday’s match starting at 9:45 a.m.