Frog Lake T-Birds franchise on the verge of folding, lose 7-1 to Cold Lake

It’s been tough sledding for the Frog Lake T-Birds.

In the past two weeks, eight or so players have the team, either to go home or play in the upstart WSHL league with the Meadow Lake Mustangs or Cold Lake Wings.

That’s put a lot of stress on the T-Birds, who are not able to add any more players since the deadline came and passed on Jan. 10.

Four AP players played on Friday night against Cold Lake, which turned into a sound 7-1 victory for the 5th place Ice in their first game of three on the weekend.

All four lines chimed in on the scoresheet, and only four skaters Jessie Simpson, Deni Kantel, Connor Landry, and Rhys Lewis did not register a point.

“We played well. Started off a little slow, but you got to work to beat thse teams, and near the end we tried something different. But it’s a win,” said Cold Lake Ice coach Scott Hood.

“We talked before the game that we want to build towards the playoffs and that’s what you want to do. Tonight was a good stepping stone for it, and we’ll get ready for tomorrow,” he said.

The Ice travelled to Wainwright on Saturday and to Lloydminster on Sunday.

They fell 4-2 to the first place Bisons on the road.

“We don’t care where we finish in the standings, we know we’re either going to play St. Paul or Killam. We just want to be playing well,” said Hood.

He said the team has been playing much better after the 12-5 loss to Killam, a game he called the worst he’s coached in four years.

“It’s about effort. We went down to Killam and had a great game, played well there. Even tonight. I never question the guy’s work ethic at all. We work hard every game, must guys do. We have some systems in place that we want to work on. That game we didn’t,” said Hood.

Cold Lake Ice’s Devon McCormack and T-Birds forward Jamal Daniels were both given game misconducts after their scrap midway through the game after Tyler Shankowsky’s goal made it 5-1 for the visitors.

Jamal Daniels and Devon McCormack square off in the second period.

“We’ve had some issues with some players leaving to go play in that other league, so we’ve been short bench a little bit. It’s irreleveant,” said T-Birds coach Harvey Smyl before the game.

“We’ve had four APs in tonight, and Wayne’s [General Manager Wayne Dion] done a wonderful of adding some pieces to the piece here and hopefully we can gel a little bit and get oursleves moving because we’re in the stretch drive now and we need to be playing better than we are,” he said.

The T-Birds lost in Vermilion on Saturday 5-4. They had a 3-1 lead at the first intermission but could not survive a wave of Tigers offense in the second frame.

Frog Lake has five games remaining in the regular season.

They will head to Wainwright on Tuesday before hosting the last place Vegreville Rangers on Saturday. Lac la Biche will then travel for a game next Sunday.