The Kootenay ICE couldn’t solve the Vancouver Giants in a Sunday afternoon showdown in Cranbrook which ended in a 6-0 triumph for the visitors.
Kootenay fought hard in the first period to keep pace with the BC Division’s top ranked team.
Vancouver capitalized on an early power play when Milos Roman tallied his 17th goal of the season at 4:41 of the opening frame off some nice puck movement which lead to a bounce from the slot that beat ICE goalie Duncan McGovern.
The ICE tried to chip away at the lead, firing 13 first period shots at Giants goalie Trent Miner, but couldn’t close the gap and the score was 1-0 after 20 minutes.
The Giants opened the floodgates in the second period starting with a blast from just inside the blueline by Brayden Watts to make the score 2-0 at 5:57.
Vancouver did not look back after that as they would fill the net twice more in the middle frame to take a 4-0 lead into the third period.
The Giants would add two more in the third, including a marker in the final minute from former Kootenay skater Dallas Hines who made his return to Western Financial Place after being dealt to Vancouver Friday, while sealing the 6-0 Vancouver victory.
Kootenay head coach James Patrick liked they way his team competed in the first period, but he couldn’t justify echoing his sentiments for the second period.
“I just thought the second period they won every puck battle,” said Patrick. “They got a lot of chances, just in our zone I thought we handed them a couple goals.”
ICE defender Marco Creta feels they were outworked by Vancouver in most aspects of the game after the first period.
“I think just all around they wanted it more,” said Creta. “They beat us to every single loose puck and they won 50-50 battles. They were just outplaying us in every single zone, all three zones.”
Fellow ICE newcomer Cyle McNabb says it was fun to face his old team for the first time since Friday’s trade involving Dallas Hines.
“They’re obviously a really good team, but I think it came down to winning puck battles, they won way more than us and that ended up costing us in the end.”
The Vancouver win snapped a four-game losing streak while the ICE loss gives them a seven game winless streak.
Vancouver’s power play went 2/2 while the ICE failed to register a goal on five power play attempts while being outshot 30-24.
The ICE begin a lengthy swing of road games starting Wednesday night in Lethbridge.
They’ll return home January 26th to face the Prince Albert Raiders after playing six straight games on the road.
– James Patrick – Head Coach, Kootenay ICE
– Marco Creta – Defenceman, Kootenay ICE
– Cyle McNabb – Forward, Kootenay ICE