Ice Demons split pair

The Kitimat Ice Demons had mixed success on the weekend.....

The Kitimat Ice Demons had mixed success on the weekend, taking a win over the Hazelton Wolverines by a score of 6-3 on Saturday – in a game that cold conditions and very poor ice made much more difficult than it needed to be – then losing 3-1 to the Smithers Steelheads on Sunday.

The latter was as advertised – a fast, spirited and bruising affair that did turn out to be probably the best game seen in Smithers this season.

At least that was what the Smithers’ fans were saying as they left out of the arena.

For the Demons, too, it was one of their better on-ice efforts of the season, as they got a couple of injured players back.

The Demons on the whole felt they could have done better with a couple of breaks, although they were having no difficulty getting shots on Mike Wall.

But they were having a lot more difficulty getting pucks behind him.

The game went to the first intermission scoreless with the Demons were bemoaning a couple of good missed opportunities.

In this game Wall played up to his reputation, especially early when the Demons turned it on and ran up a shot total of 23-12 at about the third minute mark of the second period.

Wall was particularly sharp getting across his crease on a break by the Hewitson-Markwart-Josh Marsh line, where a shot by Markwart would probably have given the Demons the lead, but he passed to Marsh in better position.

Wall showed why he played at a higher level with a terrific sliding save.

Brett Vilness in the Demons goal also had a top notch game too with fast pads and a great glove.

But about the mid-way part of the second period, as the Steelheads tried to push back against good Demons pressure, Joe Karpinsky got his stick tip to a rebound in the crease, off a hard shoot in by Mark Arnold, that just fluttered behind Vilness.

The see-saw play resumed but, with just 11 seconds left in the period, the same play was essentially repeated as Tyler Pederson got a point shot into a scrum of bodies and legs in the crease and Devon Booth got a stick on the rebound to give the Steelies a 2-0 lead going to the second the intermission.

The Demons came hard early in the third and got one back eight minutes in when Ian Coleman (Derek Wakita, Terry Whelan) tipped a shot behind Wall off a nice dish off.

But as the play flowed back and forth Smithers got away with a neat patented seagull play by Ian Smith who drifted near the Demons’ zone, slowed down and got a long accurate feed pass from Ryan Devries to get in alone on Vilness, who made the first and second save, but still saw the jumping puck pushed over the line after a couple of stabs by Smith, fighting off Adam Buick.

After that, it wasn’t the Demons’ afternoon as Wall held the fort and the Steelheads kept coming.

Despite good chances at both ends there was no further scoring.

It was basically a clean game, with some familiar activity behind the play and ref Mike Mehr played a solid judge and jury role as the two rivals went at one another.

The Demons took 12 minutes in minors and Steelies 14. There was some pushing and shoving in both creases – but both teams knew they could not afford to be shorthanded the way the passing was going.

On Saturday night, in a freezing Hazelton arena where even the water bottles froze, the ice was very poor, hard and rutted, making puck control almost impossible.

The order of the day for the Wolverines was hard charging checking.

It was that kind of bumpy, bruising game with the Ice Demons getting goals from Steve Venman (2) (unassisted on the first and with an assist to Jordan Goncalves on the second), Wade Masch (Nick Markowsky), Jeff Mildenberger (Jeremy Brady), Blaine Markwart (Craig Hewitson) and Josh Slanina (Jon Aiken, Kyle Boudreault) to double up on the Wolverines, who had goals from Al Tolmie, Matt Wolfenden and Ryan Muldoe.

Wolverines had only about 100 in the arena on a cold, snowy night that was as brutal as the knock-down, charge and smash game inside.

Phil Morrison was tossed from the game late for unsportsmanlike conduct and the Wolverines had 11 minors and a major (for a hit from behind) while the Demons were assessed 24 minutes in minors.

This wasn’t great hockey, but the fans seem to enjoy it.

X   X   X   X   X

The Ice Demons picked up two point by default this past weekend.

They were due to host the Hazelton Wolverines on Saturday night but the Wolverines had to pull out because they were unable to find enough players.

X   X   X   X   X

Going into the weekend the Ice Demons had a comfortable lead atop the West Division with 16 points from 12 games.

The Terrace River Kings were eight points back but had three games in hand.

In the East Division newcomers Quesnel Kangaroos lead with 18 points from 12 games, six ahead of the Williams Lake Stampeders who have two games in hand.


And in the Central Division the Smithers Steelheads were cruising along with 20 points, 10 clear of the Houston Luckies.



Just Posted

Outside the Kitimat RCMP police station, Diversity Morgan’s family and Kitimat RCMP come together for a pride flag-raising ceremony. (Jacob Lubberts photo)
Kitimat RCMP host pride flag ceremony in memory of Diversity Morgan

“We’re gathered here in solidarity for anyone who’s ever experienced prejudice or discrimination”

(Haisla First Nation logo)
Haisla Nation host walk for strength and series of virtual sessions for Indigenous History Month

The purpose of the walk is to bring Haisla Nation members together and show their collective support

The District of Kitimat will be awarding business owners with a store front up to $5,000 to cover up to 50 per cent of exterior renovations. (Norhtern Development logo)
The District of Kitimat is awarding $5,000 to storefront owners for exterior renovations

The district has set aside $20,000 this year and non-profits are also eligible

Ron getting loose and sipping a glass of the family’s favourite greek amber spirit, Metaxa. (Photo supplied)
In Our Valley: Ron Lechner

Retired part-time singer and Rio Tinto lifer: Ron Lechner

Map of the road work that will be completed this summer. The streets highlighted in red are what the district planned on completing before additional funding, and the streets highlighted in orange is the road works that will be done with the additional funding. (District of Kitimat photo)
$1.1 million allocated for road work this year in Kitimat

Kitimat council has added $470,000 for more work by deferring four other projects.

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read