A four-point night for Colton Kroeker was just one of the many highlights in the 5-4 overtime win for the Kootenay ICE over the Red Deer Rebels on Sunday afternoon.
Kootenay came flying out of the gate going up 2-1 after the first frame with goals from Cale Fleury and Cameron Hausinger.
The ICE had a shaky second stanza and found themselves knotted up at 3-3 heading into the final period.
Kootenay dominated the majority of the third period outshooting Red Deer 12-5 but struggled to find the twine.
The Rebels’ Reese Johnson put one in the back of the ICE net with just 2:21 remaining to give the Rebels their first lead of the game.
But it was the determination of the first line for the ICE that propelled Alec Baer to score the game-tying goal with just 1:51 left on the clock to send the game to overtime.
“Me and [Kroeker] and our line played really good all night so we weren’t too worried.” says Baer. “We just went out and played the way we played all night, something good was bound to happen and it did at the right time.”
“Obviously to give up a goal with two and a half minutes left and then our two best guys, Kroeker and Baer, were able to get us back and keep us in the game.” says Head Coach James Patrick. “That was a huge play by them.”
Red Deer’s Alexander Alexeyev interfered with Baer early in the extra frame and the Kootenay power play didn’t miss a beat as Cale Fleury potted his second goal of the game to secure the victory for the ICE.
— Devin Howard (@howardevin) October 30, 2017
“We ended up getting the puck back, got possesion [and] got it over to Cale who’s got a great shot and was able to get a free look.” says Patrick.
The Baer-Kroeker-Keenan Taphorn line was dynamic putting up a combined 9 points in the winning effort.
Rookie defenceman Zachary Patrick dropped the gloves for the first time in his young junior career.
“It takes a lot of [guts] to do that stuff.” says forward Cameron Hausinger. “It’s scary when you’re doing it but I talked to him after the game and I congratulated him.”
“It looked like he could handle himself.” says Coach Patrick. “He was willing and able to get involved that way.”
The ICE have reached the .500 mark as their record climbs to 7-7-1-0 on the season.
Kootenay will hit the road this Wednesday for a date with the Regina Pats.
– James Patrick, Kootenay ICE Head Coach