Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Kootenay 4 Vancouver 3

From Chris Wahl ...

A 39-save performance from Wyatt Hoflin helped the Kootenay ICE defeat the Vancouver Giants 4-3 Tuesday at Western Financial Place.

Four different ICE players found the back of the net, with Zak Zborosky's tally at 7:29 of the third period proving to be the deciding marker as Kootenay climbed back above the .500 mark.

The ICE opened the scoring late in the first period, as defenseman Tyler King snapped a point shot over the right shoulder of Giants netminder Payton Lee with 2:06 to play in the frame.

Vancouver replied off the opening faceoff in period two when rookie Tyler Benson scored his 11th goal of the season at the 15-second mark.

Kootenay broke the tie five minutes later on a breakaway tally from Luke Philp. The 19 year-old collected a long breakout pass from Troy Murray at the Giants blue line, then fired a shot that snuck through Lee.

River Beattie then scored his second goal in as many games just past the midway mark of the period, picking off a Vancouver breakout pass and backhanding a shot in from the bottom of the left-wing circle.

The Giants outshot the ICE 30-19 through 40 minutes, and closed the gap to 3-2 on a power-play at 3:08 on a point blast from Mason Geertsen.

Kootenay reclaimed its two-goal advantage just over four minutes later thanks to Zborosky, who collected a pass from linemate Sam Reinhart at the Vancouver blue line, wafted into the slot and snapped a shot into the top corner of the net.

Giants captain Dalton Sward rounded out the scoring in the dying seconds of the game, jamming a rebound under Hoflin's pad.

Hoflin has now won each of his last four starts when facing 40 or more shots.

Reinhart had two assists, while Zborosky also enjoyed a multi-point night.

Lee made 25 saves in goal for Vancouver.

UP NEXT: the ICE travel to Edmonton for a daytime affair with the Oil Kings Thursday. Game time is 11:30 am.