Kootenay Ice earn point against league-leading Prince George Cougars

The Kootenay Ice gave the Prince George Cougars all they could handle in two close weekend games

In BC Major Midget League (BCMML) action, the Kootenay Ice earned a tough point from the league-leading Prince George Cougars on the weekend, but probably deserved more.

Kootenay lost 3-2 in overtime to the defending BCMML champions on Saturday, and led 4-3 past the midpoint of the third period on Sunday, before the Cougars stormed back, scoring three times in the final seven minutes for a 6-4 victory. While disappointing, the Ice went toe-to-toe with a team that dominated the league last year, proving once again they can skate with the league’s top teams.

“We played really well,” said Ice coach Kris Boyce. “The effort in both games was incredible by our group. But you have to give it to them, even though you’re in a tight game, they just kept coming at us, and we kept giving it back, so it could have went either way.”

Cougars defenceman Max Arnold scored the winner with two minutes and 43 seconds to play, taking a pass in the high slot from Craig McDonald and firing a low shot past Kootenay netminder Jake Kemp for a 5-4 lead.

“A team like that, their defence really like to jump up into the play so you want to watch their defencemen or they will burn you eventually,” said Boyce. “They burned us with three minutes left. “

The team’s traded chances throughout the game, in a fast and physical match up. The Cougars opened the scoring at 17:19 of the first period when McDonald lifted a rebound over the Ice goalie for a shorthanded marker. But 55 seconds later, the Ice tied it on the power play when Kootenay’s Adam Pipe let go a bullet from the slot, with assists to Caleb Goncalves and Mason McLeod.

The Cougars went up 2-1 with 7:38 to play in the period when McDonald snuck a sharp-angled power-play goal by Kemp for his second of the game and fifth of the season.

Kootenay’s Quaid Anderson tied it less than two minutes into the second. The Cranbrook native jumped on a loose puck and broke in on a partial breakaway. PG goalie, Marcus Allen, stopped the initial shot, but Anderson slipped in the rebound while falling to the ice for his second goal of the season.

The Cougars kept coming and midway through the middle frame Riley Krane converted a back-door pass from Mason Richey to give P.G. a 3-2 lead.

Ice goalie, Kemp, kept the game close making a brilliant pad save on a 2-on-0, and then came across on a 2-on-1 to rob the Cougars forward with the glove just moments later.

“Our goalies have played incredible, some of the saves from both of them this weekend, you can’t ask from a better performance from those two, (Kemp and Xavier Cannon).”

The saves sparked the Ice, and Edmonton native Pipe netted his second of the game banging in a loose puck on a scramble in front to tie it at 3-3 heading into the final frame.

Cranbrook product Erik Delaire gave Kootenay its first lead of the game, taking a pass from Mason and wiring it by the Cougars goalie to make it 4-3 with 9:12 to play in the third. The assist was Mason’s third of the game.

But Krane notched his second of the match, tipping in an Arnold point shot just two seconds after a Kootenay penalty had expired, to tie it at 7:10.

Following Arnold’s winner, Prince George iced it with an empty netter with six seconds remaining for the 6-4 victory.

The Ice were also missing a key offensive component in Booker Daniel, who was picked up as an affiliate player by the BCHL Nanaimo Clippers for the weekend.

“He adds that dynamic to a team where he can put the puck in the net in those crucial situations, a power-play guy. And looking at our effort and the goals we scored this weekend, you have that guy in the line up and the game could have gone the other way.”

In Saturday’s match, a valiant effort by netminder Xavier Cannon, carried the Ice into overtime with the Cougars, only to see the game slip away 20 seconds in on a goal by Brennan Malgunas for the 3-2 Cougars victory.

Trail’s Keenan Crossman scored twice for the Ice and a team-leading seven goals, but penalty trouble hurt Kootenay in the opening match with Malgunas and Krane scoring power-play markers in regulation for the Cougars.

“That team, you put them on the power play and they’re going to score eventually, so you have to stay out of the penalty box against them.”

The wins put Prince George at 11-2-1-0, one point up on the 11-1-0-0 Valley West Hawks whose only loss came at the hands of the Ice in a 5-4 match on Oct. 22.

“We’re in the mix right now, even getting one point, the league is so tight if we steal another point from them that’s huge,” said Boyce. “But we only get the one, it’s still okay, but it’s nice to get a couple every game.”

The 4-6-0-2 Kootenay Ice set sail for Vancouver Island this weekend with two games in Victoria against the 1-13-0-0 South Island Royals.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Trail Smoke Eaters to host Cranbrook Bucks to open exhibition season

The BCHL announces a 100-plus game exhibition season

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

Trail Kiwanians wrap up $10,000 hospital donation

The new KBRH emergency department opened its doors a few weeks ago

LeRoi Foundation donates to hospital in Trail

$5,000 comes to KBRH via Community Foundations Canada and ECSF

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

Most Read