Puck drops for new look Kootenay ICE
The Kootenay ICE last night opened the 2017/18 Western Hockey League season – one possessing renewed hope and support for the refurbished franchise – with a nod to its colourful past.
Memorial Cup 2002 winning team captain and former NHLer Jarrett Stoll received a warm standing ovation prior to a ceremonial puck drop following player introductions and the unveiling of the team’s new-look mascot – Shivers.
Stoll still holds several ICE records, including most assists in a season (66 in 2000/01) and most points in a season (106 in 2000/01). He is also second in franchise all-time scoring, with 124 goals and 199 assists in 245 games. Sam Reinhart sits atop the franchise all-time scoring list, with 120 goals and 199 assists in 250 games.
It was a long-anticipated opening night at Western Financial Place, complete with a tailgate party prior to the game.
An announced crowd of 3,392 witnessed the ICE knock off long-time rival Calgary Hitmen 3-2, on the strength of a two-goal performance by center Michael King and 35 saves by netminder Bailey Brkin. Left wing Gilian Kohler also scored, while Sam Huston, Barrett Sheen, Keenan Taphorn, Tanner Sidaway and Peyton Krebs chipped in with helpers.
Brkin, King and Krebs were named the game’s three stars.
The ICE are in Calgary this evening for a re-match with the Hitmen at the Saddledome.
The ICE are back home on Sept. 29 for a tilt against the potent Spokane Chiefs, still short super sniper Kailer Yamamoto who is lighting it up in NHL pre-season action with the Edmonton Oilers.
Lead image: Jarrett Stoll conducts the ceremonial season opening puck drop, along with Calgary Hitmen assistant captain Matteo Gennaro and Kootenay ICE captain Cale Fleury. Ian Cobb/e-KNOW photos