The Cold Lake Jr B Ice dropped a pair of games over the weekend; 6-4 Friday in Vermilion and 7-1 Saturday in Cold Lake. Injuries and absences have plagued the team, as of late, says Head Coach of the Ice, Scott Hood, “we have guys banged up, guys not here.” We missing regulars from the line-up the Ice have been calling up midget level players from the local Cold Lake club. “We have to be prepared to play, that’s been our biggest downfall lately.”
Game 1 vs Vermilion
The Tigers kicked off the game with a three goal lead in the first; two from Jarrett Eyben and one from Lucas Dennill. The Ice were able to get one in before the end of 20 minutes, from veteran Donavan Bibeau (assist to Kole Greenwood & Deni Kantel). The Ice tied it up in the second period with goals from, Jonah Henderson and Jean-Guy Boisvert; however Vermilion was able to take the lead before the close of 40 minutes, with a goal from, Brayden Wilson.
In the third, Maguire Blair took a two goal lead for Vermilion, Shane Whitney followed that up with a goal for the Ice. Helpers to Bryce Schultheiss & Deni Kantel. The effort was great, but it wouldn’t be enough for the Ice, the Tigers put in another goal from Maguire Blair; making it a 6-4 hockey game.
Game 2 vs Frog Lake
“They’re all skilled guys, we gotta put our work boots on tonight,” Coach Hood says the team is familiar with the Frog Lake T-Birds, having met them just a few weeks prior. That game went to overtime, with the Ice taking the win. This time around, Cold Lake took the lead 2:32 in the first with an unassisted beauty from Deni Kantel. The T-Birds responded and answered seven times.
With backup goalie, Keaton Boni, in net for the Ice, Curtis Scales, Michael Cardinal, Draven Waskahat, and Ryder Prue all scored in the first, closing the period 4-1. Captain Colton Buchta says the message in room during the first intermission was for the team to take the opportunities, “you can’t win a game with seven shots. We need more pucks on net.” With the shots reflecting 18-7 in favour of the T-Birds the Ice headed into the second period. Delano Tipewan made it a 5-1 game for Frog Lake, while Ryder Prue got a goal in all three periods – a hat trick to finish the game 7-1 for the visiting club.
“It’s been a tough stretch for us. It’s not an excuse, everybody goes through it,” with many injuries to regular players, the club has called up affiliates almost every game, “we’re going to battle through it. We’re on a three game losing streak.” Missing players are being to show on the ice, “it showed in Vermilion and it showed here. Yeah, we got a quick one, but then we kinda let Frog Lake do what they wanted to.”
“They’ve got a great team and they’re highly skilled; but if you out work them and you play your systems you’ll be fine,” Hood says the Ice are capable of matching the calibre of the T-Birds, “we just couldn’t find that other gear tonight. The weekend’s over now, we have to take some time to regroup and get some guys healthy.”
The Cold Lake Ice are on the road Friday in Onion Lake, then back at home for game 3 of the Battle of the Lakeland series versus the St. Paul Canadiens. Puck drop Saturday at 8:00 pm at Imperial Oil Place. Watch game coverage on Lakeland Connect thanks to Lake City Coach and Original Joes Restaurant.