The Winnipeg ICE has endured some tough road trips so far this season. Unless they’re playing the Brandon Wheat Kings, the team’s shortest trip is roughly six hours.
However, the trip they are currently on smashes any other trip they’ll make this year. The team is south of the border for a five-game trip against American teams.
Their first stop was a near 24 hour drive to Everett where they would challenge the Silvertips for the first time this season.
The Tips’ came into the game as leaders of the U.S. Divison so the game would no doubt be a daunting task for Winnipeg.
After a red-hot start, the game quickly became one that Everett dominated and they had a comfortable lead after 40 minutes. But, it’s also said that having a two-goal lead is the most dangerous one in hockey and that’s exactly what Everett had.
Winnipeg battled back in the third and they ended up winning the game very quickly in overtime to pick up a 5-4 win against one of the league’s best teams.
“I think it was maybe our hardest working game of the year against a really good team,” said James Patrick after the game courtesy of winnipegice.ca “We had a really good start and then we were caught on some extended shifts in the second.”
“There was no quit in our team. We were hungry. We went down to three lines and all of them worked so hard,” he continued. “To come out with two points is huge for us. I think we can build on it.”
Just 4:32 into the game, Cole Muir beat rookie Keegan Karki for his third of the season.
The ICE made it 2-0 just 29 seconds later when Logan Danis scored his first-ever Western Hockey League goal. Jakin Smallwood and Benjamin Zloty had the assists.
The goals kept on coming in the first, but this time it was Everett’s turn. They trimmed the deficit in half with a Jackson Berezowski goal at the 7:42 mark. Max Patterson then tied the game just 1:17 later.
Tied at two after 20, the Tips’ quickly scored in the second when Brendan Lee gave his team a lead at the 1:57 mark. Michal Gut would then score his fifth of the season at the 14:23 mark as Everett had a 4-2 lead after 40.
Just like Everett took momentum in the game with four straight, it was Winnipeg’s turn. Jackson Leppard made it 4-3 with his fifth of the season at the 7:58 mark. Things came down to the wire late. With their net empty, 2019 CHL Import selection, Nino Kinder scored his eighth of the campaign to tie the game up with just 41 seconds left.
In overtime, Chase Hartje sealed the game just 39 seconds in. Isaac Johnson picked up his third assist and Connor McClennon grabbed his first of the game.
“We just kept working hard, we got pucks deep and things worked out for us in the end,” said Chase Hartje after the game. “I just charged the net and tapped the puck in, it was great.”
The effort was a big comeback one after what they went through just days earlier. On Remembrance Day, the Wheat Kings beat Winnipeg, 7-2.
“We have some confidence moving forward for sure,” concluded Hartje.
- Isaac Johnson’s three assists in the game came on Winnipeg’s final three goals. Johnson also had four shots himself.
- The ICE outshot Everett, 35-27. That had at least 10 every period (excluding overtime). Everett, meanwhile, never had 10 in any period.
- Both teams went 0-for-2 on the power play.
Next up for the club was a nearly four-hour drive to Portland where they would play the Winterhawks. Unlike Saturday’s contest, Winnipeg wasn’t able to replicate what they did 24 hours prior.
Portland led 2-0 after 40 minutes and they went on to pick up two points in a 4-1 win in front of just more than 3000 fans inside of the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
The game did feature the return of Peyton Krebs. Joshua Critzer who covers the Winterhawks had a great chat with the Vegas Golden Knight product. You can check out that story at Krebs is back.
“I think we came out hard, but we just didn’t get the result we wanted,” added Krebs. “I just did whatever I could to help the team.”
“Peyton worked hard. It was tough on him because he hasn’t played for more than half a year, so it wasn’t easy, but he played well,” said James Patrick. “He got better as the game went on. It was great having him in the lineup.
Despite Krebs’ comment on a good start, Portland did score early. 1:51 into the first, Kishaun Gervais made it 1-0 with his second of the season. Up 1-0 after 20, the Winterhawks struck even quicker in the second.
It took Jake Gricius just 40 seconds to score the eventual game-winner and his sixth goal of the season.
The trend of goals early in periods continued for Portland in the third. On the power play, Gricius scored his second goal of the game and seventh of the season to give the club a 3-0 lead at the 1:17 mark.
With just more than four minutes left, Krebs got on the board. He and Connor McClennon set up Michal Teply who netted his eighth goal of the season, but it was too little, too late.
Reece Newkirk would score into an empty net with five seconds left as the Winterhawks skated off with two points in front of a great crowd on a Sunday night.
“I think we played hard at times, but we weren’t on the same page and we weren’t willing to get in front of their goalie,” said James Patrick after the game.
Joel Hofer made 33 saves on 34 shots. Jesse Makaj went 24-for-27.
“We got some looks and chances, but we didn’t really get any second or third chances and that killed us,” said Patrick.
- Winnipeg struggled heavily on the man advantage. They went 0-for-6. Portland, meanwhile, went 1-for-2.
- Winnipeg once again outshot their opponent. On this night it was 34-28.
- Reece Newkirk was the lone player on either team to record three points. He had one goal and two assists.
- Portland is now 12-5-1-2 while Winnipeg is 11-9-1.
With the taste of defeat now in their mouths, Winnipeg will look to get back in the win column on Tuesday evening. They’ll be in Seattle where they take on the 6-9-2-1 Thunderbirds. The game is Winnipeg’s third of five on the trip.
On Friday they’re in Tri-City and they wrap up their trip with a game in Spokane on Saturday.
“We have many things to build off of going into Seattle,” concluded Patrick.