’17-’18 kicks off
The 2017-2018 NEAJBHL season officially opened on Sept. 29. There were three games on opening night. The Cold Lake Ice, and Frog Lake T-Birds were a match-up to watch on Sept. 29. The following night (Sept. 30) the Ice were home again to the Vermilion Tigers. The Ice dropped a 5-2 decision to Frog Lake, and a 3-0 game to the Tigers.
Cold Lake Ice start slow
The Cold Lake Ice couldn’t muster much on net in the first period against the T-Birds on opening night. The T-Birds were using the stretch pass effectively, and out chanced the Ice handily. The game picked up physically with eight minutes to go in the first. Both teams partook in some feisty after whistle activities for the remainder. Keon Fox opened the scoring for the T-Birds season with a tally in the final two minutes of the first frame. It was 1-0 T-Birds after the first period.
“We’ve got a bunch of new guys this year. We’ve only had a couple practices together. Still getting to know each other, but we picked it up at the halfway mark. We started getting going, and getting some shots. Kill this penalty, and hopefully get back to it.” Assistant Captain Bryce Schultheiss said in the first intermission.
Schiiler stands on his head
Nelson Schiiler had quite the night against Frog Lake. He made 30 saves on 35 shots, and held the Cold Lake Ice in it through the final two periods. Evan Feehan scored the opening goal of the season for the Cold Lake Ice to tie the game 1-1. The period ended 3-2 with Justin Clarke picking up a goal for the Ice. The third period things got away from the team, as Frog Lake continued to stretch the ice. The T-Bids put up a quick one in the third period, and got one more to finish it off. Final score was 5-2.
Tigers at home for night two
The Vermilion Tigers came into Cold Lake hoping for a rebound performance from their 7-4 loss to Vergreville. The opening period saw the Ice have several great chances to clutch a goal. Things seemed to bobble off a player’s stick, or hop off the boards unfavourbly in the first. Vermilion started Cold Lake night’s the exact same way the T-Birds had. Vermilion notched one goal, and led 1-0 going into the second period.
The second period was a great effort from the Ice. It could be argued as their most chance filled period of the year so far. Curtis Gullackson almost converted on a mini two on one, after breaking out of the box as his penalty expired. No goals went up on the board, but Schiller once again stood tall, and kept it 1-0 Tigers.
Cold Lake couldn’t seem to hang onto the positives of the second period. It seemed a stalemate for most of the first half of the third period. The Tigers would break through with a goal at with 8:23 to play. The Ice looked to be setback by the two goal deficit. Vermilion struck one more time, and won 3-0. The loss means the Ice go winless in opening weekend action.
“We need somebody who can score some goals here. We had some chances, but their goalie played really well. Probably one of the best goalies in the league they got. We need to find a way to beat him. Nobody was going to the net, the tough areas. We got through it, and the weekend is over. You’re not going to win the league in a weekend. We have some work to do,but we’ll stay positive and keep going.” Coach Scott Hood said post-game after the 3-0 loss.