The Kootenay ICE are beginning a busy weekend on a losing note after falling 3-2 to the Regina Pats.
The Pats scored the first three goals of the game, which was enough to hold off the ICE despite a push in the latter half of the game.
A closely contested first period ended with the Pats up 1-0 courtesy of a well-placed wrist shot from the slot in front of a screened Duncan McGovern at the 18:20 mark.
Regina would add another pair of goals before the ICE would respond.
The first came 7:46 into the second frame after Pats forward Sergei Alkhimov was hauled down on a breakaway and awarded a penalty shot.
He picked the high blocker-side on McGovern to make the score 2-0.
Five minutes later Austin Pratt fired a blast which went in off the post to put the Pats up 3-0.
A Kootenay ICE power play marker put them back within two of Regina before the period ended.
Cam Hausinger scored his second goal of the year after tipping a point blast from Jaeger White. Peyton Krebs picked up an assist on the goal to extend his season-long point streak.
The ICE held Regina off the scoreboard in the third and a goal from Jaeger White halfway through the period put Kootenay within one.
White was able to capitalize on a turnover at Regina’s blue line, walking in and putting the puck over Pats goalie Max Paddock to make the score 3-2.
The ICE had a few more chances in the dying minutes of the third, which included a 5 on 3 power play, but fell short at the final buzzer taking a 3-2 loss.
It was the second win of the season for Regina while the loss for Kootenay signaled an end to their push for their first three-game winning streak of the year.
The Pats outshot Kootenay 31-27.
ICE coach James Patrick expressed some pros and cons from the 3-2 setback.
“I liked our desperation in the third,” says Patrick, “I didn’t like our first period at all, I thought we were very perimeter.”
Patrick also credited Regina’s shot-blocking, saying it made it hard for the team to get pucks to the net.
ICE forward Cam Hausinger agreed, “We weren’t getting a lot of shots, this team’s good at blocking shots.”
Kootenay defender Dallas Hines says the team suffered from a bad start to the game, “We had a bad start, we didn’t come out like we wanted to and then we showed up too late like we did in Spokane, we need to fix that.”
The loss brings Kootenay’s record to 3-3-0-0 at 5th in the Central Division.
The ICE are back at it Saturday when they take on the Tigers in Medicine Hat, which will be their second of three games in three days.
They return home Sunday for an afternoon encounter with the Prince George Cougars.
*interviews with James Patrick, Cam Hausinger and Dallas Hines to be added tomorrow, apologies for the delay