The Kootenay Ice is preparing for a busy weekend, but head coach James Patrick said their focus right now is on Friday night’s game against the Regina Pats.
The Ice is one of three teams to have only played five games for the season and look to catch up as they have two games at home and one away this weekend.
“We will have some players getting into the weekend who haven’t had too much of an opportunity yet,” said Patrick.
“Right now we are focused on Friday’s game, that’s number one. I know what’s ahead of us and I know energy wise we are going to have to use everyone, but the main focus is on Friday and getting to play as good as we can.”
Patrick noted the Pats were getting key players back in their line up including Jake Leschyshyn and players to watch like Nick Henry.
Although the Pats have had a rough start to the season going 1-6, the Ice don’t want to underestimate them.
“They haven’t gotten off the start they would like and that, more than anything, scares me. You know how hungry they are going to be … I think it’s going to be a real tough challenge for us,” said Patrick.
After Friday night’s game, the Ice will have to get ready to take on the Medicine Hat Tigers at Canalta Centre and will close out the three-game stretch back home against the Prince George Cougars.
Patrick says he is looking for the team to clean up some areas of their game from the past week.
“In the course of the season, it’s the teams that keep getting better that can make a run or make the playoffs when it’s all said and done,” he said.
“Every day we are coming to the rink, we are trying to get better, we are trying to improve and get better with our systems and individually.”
The Ice played their last game on Oct. 8, a 5-0 win against the Tigers. Patrick expects the team to take the momentum into Friday’s game.
“It’s been a real college schedule, the momentum can go up or down in the time off, so that ‘s a big part of it for them to believe in themselves and for us to pump them up and show them how we believe in them and how good they are. They just need to carry [it] over from game to game,” he said.
Brett Davis has been labelled as day-to-day with a lower-body injury, and Patrick said it will be determined before the game if he is going to be in the lineup.
“He’s feeling a lot better, it’s a great sign. He’s just been nursing something that has been lingering, and we want to clean it up now. So, we don’t want him coming back in and reinjuring himself. We want to make sure he is totally healed,” he explained.
Friday’s game will start at 7 p.m. at Western Financial Place as the Ice hope to add to the Pats woes.