The Cold Lake Jr B Ice have a tough weekend ahead of them, the number one team in the Northeast Alberta Junior B Hockey League (NEAJBHL) Wainwright is in town tonight, then the Ice travel to Killiam to take on the number two team, the Wheat Kings.
The Ice have the caliber to take both of these teams, says Head Coach Scott Hood, they just need the discipline. “Obviously, [the Bison] are a highly skilled team. We have to come to work. Everybody I talk to I say the same thing.”
We have to be a hardworking team – Head Coach Scott Hood
“We showed it when we played Wainwright last time,” the Ice were up 3-2 heading into the third, explains Hood, then some unnecessary penalties cost the squad the game. Hood is hoping the team has realized that being the top of the league in penalty minutes often has the opposite results in the standings and stays out of the box. “We went to Vegreville on the weekend and only had one penalty. I had a lot of people asking me if that was a misprint,” Hood half-jokingly explains the Ice have earned quite the reputation this year.
We can stay out of the box, we want to and that’s going to be the key – Head Coach Scott Hood
“We’re just about halfway through the year and we’re sitting in eighth spot. It would be nice to see some different results.” Technically the Ice, with 10 points, are in a three-way tie for sixth, with Vegreville and Vermilion. However you want to look at it, says Hood, he knows the players are capable of more.
“We have to play disciplined every game. We have to stay out of the box to give us a chance to win,” Hood says it’s not over for the Ice, not by a long shot, but his team has to continue to trust the systems. “We’ve seen some progress, it’s a long ways away from the end of the season, but it’s time to turn that corner to get to where we need to be.”
Hood hopes the fans and players also understand the team is in a rebuilding-transition year. Not just the players on the ice, but also the coaching staff, techniques, and systems. As well as, new brass and many new Board of Directors. After a tremendous season last year with a lot of off ice drama, the club was ready for a fresh start. With a fresh start always comes rebuilding, Hood explains, “we have to rebuild relationships with the Junior A teams around here, the fans and communities”
Tonight the Ice will show their appreciation for Minor Hockey and build the relationships with the community through Minor Hockey Night. Any kid wearing a minor hockey jersey or any hockey jersey will be given free admission to the game.
Puck drops at Imperial Oil Place at 8:00 pm tonight as the Ice take on the Bison.