Ice keep rolling at home
The smoking hot Kootenay Ice ably sidestepped the struggling Everett Silvertips 4-2 in Western Hockey League action at the Cranbrook Rec-Plex last night.
Netminder Nathan Lieuwen led the Ice to their fifth straight win, and sixth straight victory at home, with 29 saves.
Joe Antilla increased his scoring streak to four games with the first of the Ice’s four tallies, a powerplay slapshot that slipped by Silvertips’ goalie Kent Simpson’s stickside.
Continuing with pressure, the Ice upped the lead to two less than 2 minutes later when Dylen McKinlay scored on a long, high slap shot.
The Silvertips (4-12-3) solved Lieuwen at 13:00 of the second period, with Trent Lofthouse deking the WHL’s top-rated goalie, setting the stage for a raucous third period before 2,783 Kootenay hockey faithful.
The Ice needed to still the Silvertips’ momentum entering the third period and that is exactly what they did when Eric Benoit finished off a fast break, beating Simpson stick side with a wrist-shot.
Elgin Pearce scored a security powerplay marker at 14:34, shoving a loose puck in during a goal-mouth scramble. Drew Czerwonka and Jesse Ismond earned assists on the goal.
Everett’s Tyler Maxwell tallied a powerplay goal two minutes later but that was all the Silvertips could muster.
Sam Reinhart collected two helpers in the contest
The Ice are now 12-3-2 and lead the Central Division.
They are also the top team in the WHL but the powerful Red Deer Rebels, third in the Central with 21 points, will put that to the test tonight when they take on the Ice at the Rec-Plex. Game time is 7 p.m.
The Rebels are coming off a 4-1 win over the misfiring Seattle Thunderbirds last night in Red Deer.