The games can’t get any closer for the BC Major Midget Kootenay Ice, but at some point Kootenay will need to come out on the winning end after losing a pair of home games against the Okanagan Rockets on the weekend.
The Ice earned a point on Saturday in a 4-3 overtime loss, before falling 3-2 in regulation on Sunday at the Cominco Arena.
In Saturday’s match, Okanagan chased Kootenay the whole game until the extra frame when, with 17 seconds remaining in overtime, Ben King beat Ice goalie Jake Kemp for the Rockets’ 4-3 victory.
Dawson Creek native Mason McLeod put the Ice up 1-0 midway through the first period on a setup from Kody Stewart and Ryan Bennett, but the Okanagan answered three minutes later on King’s first goal of the game.
Kootenay went up 2-1, when Adam Pipe converted a pass from Erik Delaire for his ninth goal of the season at 8:49 of the second period. But the Rockets again replied with a goal from Brendan Boyle to tie the game heading into the third period.
Kootenay’s Nate Ingram wired a shot off the cross bar and in for his first goal of the season to put the Ice up 3-2 with 15:12 to play in the third period. However, the lead was short-lived as the Rockets battled back and tied it on a power-play goal by Nolan Corrado at 9:21 to force the overtime.
In Sunday’s match up, after a physical first period, the Ice battled back from a 2-0 deficit to tie it in the second period on goals from Pipe and Jackson Bohan, a Cranbrook product.
But, the Rockets’ Rayman Bassi scored what proved to be the winning goal with 4:34 to play in regulation, and the Ice couldn’t find the equalizer.
It was Kootenay’s seventh straight one-goal game, and fifth straight loss, two in OT. Over that span the Ice are 2-3-0-2, and the weekend losses combined with a North Island Silvertips 5-4 victory over the Thompson Blazers dropped the Ice into ninth spot, two points back of the ‘Tips for the eighth and final playoff spot.
However, Kootenay has two games in hand on North Island, and will need to count points when they travel to Kamloops to face the Blazers this weekend.