Sports

Streaking Ice rout Warriors

Kootenay Ice captain Sam Reinhart drives the puck to the net during WHL action against the Moose Jaw Warriors on Saturday night.  - Chris Pullen photo/www.cranbrookphoto.com
Kootenay Ice captain Sam Reinhart drives the puck to the net during WHL action against the Moose Jaw Warriors on Saturday night.
— image credit: Chris Pullen photo/www.cranbrookphoto.com

It's safe to say the Ice are streaking.

Kootenay's offence continued to light the lamp in a 6-2 win over the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors on Saturday night at Western Financial Place.

The Ice have now won four in a row, which is the longest win streak of the 2013-14 campaign. Not only are they winning, but they've scored at least five goals over those four games.

"It's great," said team captain Sam Reinhart. "We've really been focusing on that consistency night in and night out. Coming back after being away for the month [at the World Juniors], the mood is really positive and it's nice and easy coming into that mood, so it was good to see that coming back and everyone is playing with a lot of confidence, so it's definitely nice."

Reinhart led the way with his fifth career hat trick, while Tim Bozon, Luke Philp and Landon Peel also scored.

Ice goaltender Mackenzie Skapski overcame a tough start in the first period after surrendering two goals to post 31 saves for the win.

Rinat Valiev had a strong night with three assists, while Jagger Dirk also collected a pair of apples. Reinhart, Philp, Bozon and Jaedon Descheneau all extended their respective point streaks.

The team also raised over $9,000 as part of Jersey off the Back Night, which will go towards the Kootenay Ice education fund. Unsurprisingly, Reinhart's jersey went the highest in the silent auction, at $1,010.

It took all but 11 seconds for Jack Rodewald to score for Moose Jaw after a turnover in Kootenay territory right off the opening face-off. Nine minutes later, Scott Cooke jumped on a loose puck outside the crease to double up and take a 2-0 lead.

"We definitely dug ourselves into a hole right away and we knew we put ourselves there," said Dirk. "I don't think they really earned it. The first goal was just a bad pass through the middle.

"…We knew we were capable of taking ourselves out of that hole, getting pucks deep, getting pucks on net and communication was key."

Kootenay was able to bite into the lead before the end of the period, with Reinhart finishing on a rebound from Descheneau to make it 2-1.

With 1:37 remaining with the man-advantage to start the second period, Kootenay's third ranked powerplay in the WHL went to work and Reinhart was rewarded with his second goal 18 seconds into the frame to tie it up.

After a point shot from Valiev pop-flied in front of the Moose Jaw net, Philp managed to get his stick on the puck and pull Kootenay ahead near the halfway mark of the period. Bozon doubled the lead a few minutes later to make it 4-2.

Kootenay's offence continued to roll in the third period, with Peel picking up his third goal of the season on a shot from the point, while Reinhart redirected a cross-ice pass from Valiev to complete his hat trick.

The Ice currently sit in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, tied with the Red Deer Rebels at 54 points and only a five-point gap separates the team from fourth place.

"It's the right time to really get on a roll and touch base on the confidence again," said Reinhart. "We're all happy with where we're at. We're still trying to work everyday and get better and that's the focus right now, but definitely playing with some confidence and that's how we should be."

The Ice have a mid-week game against the Tigers in Medicine Hat, before hosting Prince Albert and Calgary next weekend.

 

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