The longest road trip of the year continues for the Kootenay ICE tonight in Prince George.
The Cougars are currently dead last in the Western Conference with a record of 10-14-2-2 while the ICE are tied for second in the Central Division with a 13-15-1-0 record.
Kootenay is coming off a 4-0 shutout win in Kamloops Sunday afternoon while Prince George won their last game 6-2 over Vancouver.
Head Coach James Patrick says they know the Cougars like to play the body.
“They are a physical team, they like to play a little more on the offensive side of the puck, a bit of run and gun.” says Patrick. “I know one of the first things I’m going to talk to our team about is we don’t want to get into their game, we’re not going to cheat on the offensive side of the puck, we’re not going to give up a scoring chance in our end to see if we can create one in their end.”
The Cougars are third in the WHL in penalty killing (81.9%) while the ICE remain dead last on the power play (14.2%).
Patrick adds staying discipline will be a key as always.
“I want us to play really disciplined and structured, especially in the neutral zone to see if we can create some turnovers.” explains the ICE bench boss.
Kootenay is in high spirits after hopping on the bus following their first shutout win of the season in Kamloops.
Patrick says there’s a good vibe amongst the team and everyone is bonding well.
“Nothing like a six and a half hour bus ride after a win with young 16- to 20-year olds.” says Patrick. “They had a lot of fun and it’s a fun trip, we’re on the road for nine days and [we’re] looking forward to it and enjoying spending time with everyone.”
Tuesday’s game starts at 8 PM and can be heard live on The Drive.
Kootenay will head to Victoria following Tuesday’s game for a date with the Royals Friday.
– James Patrick, Kootenay ICE Head Coach