With a pair of wins in three tries, the Cold Lake Ice go on the road this weekend to take one of the league’s most consistent foes.
The Junior B squad heads to Killam on Saturday to face the Wheat Kings with identical 2-1 records.
The Ice are coming off a win against the Lac La Biche Clippers, but a bad start against the Vegreville Rangers that cost them.
The Rangers piled four goals in the first five minutes on the Ice in the team’s first loss.
A nice rebound to finish out the period down three goals, the Ice went to their new backup netminder Jayden Chase who kept them in the game amidst a comeback push.
“[He’s a] great goalie. Positionally, he never gets himself into trouble and then he came in relief and Vegreville and stood on his head there for us and gave us an opportunity to win,” said Hood about the 6-4 loss.
Chase will slot behind starter Matt Henwood, one of the better goaltenders in the NEAJBHL last season.
“He’s going to push Henwood. We have two great goalies. They’re no different than the players who are prepared to play every night…we’ll easily distribute the workload.”
New pieces working
Marc Ouellette is leading the team offensively so far with a two-goal effort in the home opener against the Vermilion Tigers and a three-point night against the Rangers.
Meanwhile, brothers Devin and Justin Hodgson and defenceman Ethan Peake are part of the new offensive leaders this season, with veterans Coltan Buchta, Donovan Bibeau and Mitchell Bibeau no longer on the team.
They’ve found a good spot from Fort McMurray to pull some of these players.
“That’s just part of the recruiting process. There are obviously local kids here that we build around and instead of them running up to BC to play we thought we try to give them a place to play around here,” said Hood.
“They’ve been fitting in they do a lot of stuff. There are five or six kids who do a lot of all of our work in the community, which is nice. They’re great young adults and fit in well and they can play hockey too.”
Wheat Kings and pretty things
“They’ve always been good,” said Hood about Killam.
“They have a small barn to play in. They play tough. They have skill. It’s not going to be a walk in the park. If we come out and play we should be okay, but it’s a matter of getting guys to show up to play.”