Thursday, March 19, 2015

Kootenay 6 Lethbridge 3

From Chris Wahl ...
Two-goal efforts from Zak Zborosky and Jaedon Descheneau helped the Kootenay ICE to a 6-3 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes at Enmax Centre Wednesday.

The ICE clinched the first wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference with the win, and will face either Calgary or Medicine Hat in the Eastern Conference quarter-final following their final two regular-season games.

After Lethbridge took an early 1-0 lead on captain Jamal Watson's 25th goal of the season, Kootenay levelled the score thanks to Zborosky. The ICE outshot the Hurricanes 12-4 in the first period.

The middle frame was more pronounced in Kootenay's favour. Descheneau tucked home a power-play goal 7:37 into period two before Ryan Chynoweth rifled a snapshot past Lethbridge netminder Jayden Sittler 1:20 later.

Zborosky and Descheneau added markers later in the period to give the ICE a 5-1 lead after 40 minutes.

The Hurricanes pushed back in the first half of the third period, cutting the lead to 5-3 in the first six-and-a-half minutes on goals from Russian import Pavel Skumatov and defenseman Brady Reagan.

Kootenay found insurance with 8:14 to play, however, when Tim Bozon snapped a hard shot past Sittler from the left wing. The goal helped Bozon keep pace with Descheneau for the team goal-scoring lead; the pair are tied with 34 tallies apiece.

ICE goaltender Wyatt Hoflin tied a franchise record Wednesday with his 65th game played this season. The Spruce Grove, Alberta product made 18 saves as Kootenay won for the sixth time in seven tries against Lethbridge this season.

Sittler stopped 21 shots for the Hurricanes.

UP NEXT: the ICE will wrap up the 2014-15 regular season with a home and home series versus the Calgary Hitmen beginning Friday at Western Financial Place. The team will hold its annual awards ceremony on-ice at 7:00 with the game to follow.