Saturday, March 14, 2015

Kootenay 7 Medicine Hat 1

From Chris Wahl ...

The Kootenay ICE clinched a playoff berth for the 17th consecutive season with a 7-1 triumph over the Medicine Hat Tigers Friday at Western Financial Place.

Jaedon Descheneau and Matt Alfaro each scored twice, while goaltender Wyatt Hoflin set a franchise record for saves in a season by turning aside 32 shots.

Kootenay opened the scoring 38 seconds into proceedings thanks to Luke Philp's 30th goal of the season. In doing so, the Canmore, Alberta product set a new personal best for points in a season, and would finish the night with 80 points on the campaign.

The Tigers answered back just under eight minutes later while shorthanded, when WHL scoring leader Trevor Cox pounced on a loose puck and beat Hoflin to level the score at 1-1.

The ICE reclaimed their lead 29 seconds later on a power-play marker from Austin Vetterl and held a 2-1 lead through 20 minutes.

Kootenay added three goals in period two, the first from Matt Alfaro 2:20 into the frame to put the home side ahead 3-1.

Descheneau then slapped a puck past Medicine Hat netminder Marek Langhamer from the left-wing circle ten minutes later before captain Sam Reinhart put the ICE ahead 5-1 on the ensuing shift.

Descheneau and Alfaro rounded out the scoring with singles in the third period as Kootenay claimed their 35th win of the year.

With the victory, the ICE are guaranteed to finish above .500 for a WHL record 16th consecutive season.

UP NEXT: the ICE will play three of the final four remaining regular season games on the road beginning Saturday at Red Deer. Game time is 7:00 pm.