Kootenay ICE Push Hurricanes to Overtime

Kootenay ICE netminder Jesse Makaj #1 made 36 saves in Wednesday's 3-2 overtime loss to the Lethbridge Hurricanes. (Photo: Bradley Jones)

The Kootenay ICE managed to end an eight-game pointless drought at home Wednesday against the Lethbridge Hurricanes, although the team's 10-game losing skid continues.

Facing off with their Central Division rivals at Western Financial Place, the ICE would fall 3-2 in overtime.

Cole Muir and Jakin Smallwood would both score for Kootenay while Martin Bodak led the team with two assists.

Tied 2-2 in the second, neither team could score the go-ahead goal in the third, leading to overtime, where top NHL draft prospect Dylan Cozen would beat rookie netminder Jesse Makaj to give the Hurricanes the 3-2 win.

Jakin Smallwood said it was a tough loss for the team, just narrowly missing out on two points.

"Obviously we're down in the dressing room, that could have been a win for us and obviously that's a good team on the other side and we played a hell of a game, so I mean, we can't get too down, we got to stay up and hopefully we play like that next game and hopefully the results go our way."

"I feel really bad for our guys because they poured their hearts out into the game," said James Patrick after the game, Head Coach of the Kootenay ICE. "I thought we played very similar in Everett, where we really competed and I thought we gave all we had."

With a lengthy losing streak, Patrick said it was a difficult defeat but that the team laid everyone out on the ice.

"It is heartbreaking because we haven't won in 10 now and we want to win really bad and you can really feel the hurt in the dressing room after, but their effort was outstanding."

Jesse Makaj faced 39 shots in the game, making 36 saves, as the ICE were outshot 39-30 in the contest.

Smallwood said they'll have to capitalize on their opportunities if they hope to win more hockey games the rest of the way.

"We got to finish our chances, we probably out-chanced them in the whole game so obviously next game we just got to bury and bear down."

Of the entire ICE roster, Smallwood's forward line with Cole Muir and Davis Murray were the lone contributors on Wednesday besides defenceman Martin Bodak.

"We played a good game, we kept it simple, we chipped pucks in, we got it deep, we forechecked hard, and we played a pretty solid defensive game too so we're feeling good as a line right now."

Wanting to keep their momentum from Wednesday's effort, the ICE will have another chance to snap their 10-game losing streak on Saturday in Spokane against the Chiefs. Following the brief road trip, the ICE will then return home next week to take on the Kelowna Rockets on Tuesday and the Kamloops Blazers on Friday where the team will hold their annual Teddy Bear Toss.

Audio: Jakin Smallwood, Kootenay ICE forward #23

Audio: James Patrick, Kootenay ICE Head Coach

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