The race to secure a spot in the Kootenay ICE crease is heating up as pre-season wraps up this weekend.
The ICE are off to Crowsnest Pass with Mario Petit (20), Jesse Makaj (16), Bailey Brkin (18) and Kurtis Chapman (19) all battling for a position between the pipes.
Head Coach James Patrick says nothing has been set in stone quite yet.
“We’ve given Mario [Petit] a good look and we’re going to give the other guys a good shot shot here in these next two games.” says Patrick. [We’ve] got a feeling who’s emerging right now but that’s not based on a lot of time in the net.”
Petit was acquired via trade from the Everett Silvertips in the offseason and posted a 2.93 GAA and a .896 SV% in 22 games last year.
Makaj was drafted by the ICE in the second round of the 2016 Bantam Draft and spent last season with the Vancouver NW Giants of the BC Major Midget League.
Meanwhile netminders Bailey Brkin and Kurtis Chapman were both brought into Cranbrook this week in seperate trades.
Brkin says he’s not thinking about the duel for a spot.
“There’s always healthy competition.” says Brkin. “You still have to worry about your own game opposed to what these other guys are doing.”
The 18-year old was swapped from Swift Current along with a 2018 fifth round pick in exchange for Max Patterson.
Brkin has yet to see the ice in a WHL regular season game.
Chapman was brought in from Regina where he played three games in the past two seasons.
Kootenay will take on Lethbridge and Calgary this weekend to round out their exhibition games at the annual Thunder Challenge Tournament.
– James Patrick, Kootenay ICE Head Coach
– Bailey Brkin, Kootenay ICE Goaltender
(Mario Petit photo courtesy of Chris Mast//Everett Silvertips)
(Jesse Makaj photo courtesy of @MelanieMakaj Twitter)
(Bailey Brkin photo courtesy of @BaileyBrkin Twitter)
(Kurtis Chapman photo courtesy of Doug Westcott)