The Cold Lake Jr B Ice and St. Paul Jr B Canadiens will meet for the forth time this season tonight at the Clancy Richard Arena in St. Paul. All three games leading up to this have been high scoring, and high impact. Both Coaches look forward to meeting for a classic Battle of the Lakeland.
The last two match-ups went to Cold Lake with a 6-1 win at home for the Ice on November 21st and a 3-2 win
on October 9th. It was the opening game of the season which set the tone for this series between rivals, an 8-3 win for St. Paul at home, that also saw 108 penalty minutes in 60 minutes of play.
The Ice were once the top of the league in penalty minutes have worked hard to reel it in and focus on their game, says Head Coach, Scott Hood. “You can see it, a bit,” Coach Hood says the atmosphere in the change room is starting to change as the W’s start coming in. Cold Lake is coming into Friday with the start of a streak, three wins in a row over the last week and a half. Including last night where they took Saddle Lake 3-0 at Imperial Oil Place.
Hood says he won’t be going into the game overly confident, “the Canadiens beat us pretty bad the first game of the year. We’re not going to take St. Paul lightly, they’re in third place for a reason.” The Ice are ready for it all, says Hood, “they’ll play hard in their rink, most teams do. They’re a hard-working team and Joe’s (Young) going to have them doing their systems and we just gotta counteract.”
I can guarantee Joe (Young) has his guys ready, it’s a big one in their barn. We’ll go in prepared and hopefully come out with two points – Scott Hood Head Coach Cold Lake Jr B Ice
“We usually have good crowds against those guys, that’s for sure,” says Head Coach of the St. Paul Canadiens, Joe Young, who’s preparing his team for a hard-hitting game. “One thing that we always talk about, and one of the things we always go over before games, is our defensive zone coverage, and playing in the neutral zone. Ultimately, at the end of the day, when it comes down to playoffs, defense is a huge part of winning championships.”
Young says defensive play has been a continuous lesson for the squad, “in the first part of the season, we struggled with that. As of late, we really picked that up. We haven’t allowed too many goals, I think we’re sitting third in the league on goals against. To me, that’s very respectable.”
Have some passion, if we do that, it’s going to be a heck of a hockey game – Joe Young Head Coach St. Paul Jr B Canadiens
“It’s more or less, staying focused for the full 60 and being prepared,” states Coach Hood, who adds he tries not to look too far ahead. “The guys gotta work each game to beat the guys that are ahead of us and make our move up the standings.” The Ice played their 18th game on Wednesday and have 18 more to go, officially on the bottom half of the season, “we obviously wanna have a better record then our first half,” says Coach Hood, “it starts with the young men in the dressing room.”
“Just work hard for 60 minutes, is all I’m asking out of these guys,” states Coach Young. Game time for tonight, Friday, December 4th, is 8:00 pm.