The Kootenay ICE are heading south of the border for their first taste of pre-season action.
They start the 2017 Red Lion Hotels Preseason Tournament against the host Tri-City Americans tonight before taking on Portland and Seattle over the weekend.
Head Coach James Patrick says he wants to give young players an opportunity to match up with some more experienced guys in the league.
“I want to give guys a real good opportunity here.” says Patrick. “I want us to continue to get better at our systems and how we have to play.”
Patrick says team bonding and getting to know one another is a huge part of the weekend.
“23 of the 35 guys are going to be on the team together so I think it’s good to go away and spend some time on the bus.” says Patrick. “I like having the three games in one area, it gives you a little more time to focus.”
Patrick confirmed Jesse Makaj and Mario Petit will be the only two goaltenders making the trip to Kennewick.
The ICE will be without veterans Cale Fleury, Brett Davis and Vince Loschiavo who are busy at NHL rookie camps.
– Head Coach James Patrick