Photo Credit: Game Ready Photography
After falling in the first three game of the second round of the playoffs, the Cold Lake Jr. B Ice must win Wednesday night at home to keep their post-season dreams alive. The club is facing the number one team in the Northeast Alberta Jr B Hockey League (NEAJBHL), the Wainwright Bison. With a mighty offense and a 33 game win streak, the Bison will be a tough competitor; however the Ice are proving to be tough competition.
Game 1, of the series, came after a long seven game series, for the Ice against the St. Paul Canadiens. The series saw the Ice take the final three games, all in overtime battles. Without much rest and some player still recovering from the series, the team fell 6-2 to the Bison.
Game 2, of the series, was much the same as the first game. In Wainwright the Ice fell 9-3.
Heading home for Game 3, the Ice had the fans on their side, but little rest. They displayed a stronger and cleaner game, closing the margin for a 8-6 loss.
Putting up 11 goals in the three games, more than any team that’s faced the Bison in the playoffs, the Ice are displaying an equally tough offense. Keeping the game clean is key, said Assistant Coach, of the Ice, Shawn Coles, leading into game 3 of the series.
“We have to stay out of the penalty box. They got four power play goals on us last night, they’ll make you pay.”
In game 1, three of the Bison goals were on the power play, Game 2 saw four power play goals and game 3 had none. With game 3 holding the closest margin, the Ice appear to have learned their lesson and cleaned up their game.
“Our boys work hard and never quit. That’s what were’s looking for from them,” Coles said he expected a tighter game 3, which is exactly what fans saw on Sunday evening.
After only 20 minutes of play it was a 5-3 game at Imperial Oil Place. Assistant Captain, Austin Powers put in the third goal for the Ice.
“Offensively, we’ve seemed to have got some more time with the puck. Defensively, we need to slow things down. Scoring needs to slow down, a lot. The game will be 15-9 if it keep going,” laughed the towering defenseman.
The game would slow down and the Ice would keep the pressure on offensively; keeping up with the Bison for periods two and three. Each team would get three more goals, to close the game 8-6.
“We can’t make mistakes against this team, or the puck is in the back of the net,” Head Coach, of the Ice, Scott Hood, said post-game that the majority of the goals on Sunday came following mistakes. “We played against these guys all year. They have so much skill and talent, if you make a mistake, it’s in the back of your net.”
Not one to give up hope, Hood said the club has proved they can come back from being down.
“We played St. Paul in a seven games series and went the distance with them. We’re battling here and we’re not going to quit.”
Game 4 of the series, is Wednesday at Imperial Oil Place. Puck drop 8:00 pm. For exclusive player and coach interviews follow Lakeland Connect on Facebook, thanks to Original Joes in Cold Lake, Lake City Coach, and Maverick’s Pub in Cold Lake.