The weekend didn’t go as hoped for the Winnipeg ICE, but the team was hard at work this morning at the RINK Training Centre aiming to make improvements and be ready for road games in Medicine Hat and Swift Current this week.
Home ice losses to Edmonton and Vancouver at the ICE Cave Friday and Saturday dropped the team into third in the East Division, and had the group thinking about what’s needed to get back in the win column as they returned to practice Monday.
Veteran defenceman Reece Harsch felt the ICE took a step in the right direction with their effort Saturday against the visiting Giants after an off-night against the Oil Kings.
“I thought the first game we didn’t have the compete and stuff that we normally had in the Saskatchewan road trip, but I mean we really came out flying against Vancouver and I thought we played a pretty good game – just the little mistakes that bit us in the end.”
A much improved start Saturday against Vancouver generated a couple of early man-advantages for the ICE, but after coming away empty-handed the Giants made the most of a missed assignment off a defensive zone
and a turnover leading to an odd-man rush to take a 2-0 first period lead en route a 4-0 victory.
As one of Winnipeg’s over-age players Harsch brings plenty of valuable experience to the club, including playing a part in Seattle’s WHL title run a couple of years back.
Now he’s determined to pass along some of the lessons learned along the way.
“I’ve been there. I’ve been in the playoffs,” said the Grande Prairie, Alberta product after today’s session. “I’ve got a lot of playoff games and stuff so, the standards are pretty high, everyone’s got to bring it day in and day out and the compete and work ethic has always got to be there.”
Harsch and his fellow defenceman worked out separately from the team’s fowards today, both groups were immersed in skill sessions led by RINK Director of On-Ice Programming and Development Jon Cara.
It’s a much appreciated opportunity for that players that comes along with the club’s base at the RINK.
“It’s nice. Lots of teams don’t really have skills coaches that are there full-time, but he’s (Jon Cara) always there. He’s always helping us out, and it’s great that – that’s kind of a summer thing but we get to work on it (skating/skills) during the season too and we’re just constantly getting better so it’s really good for the team.”
Reece and the ICE travel to Medicine Hat Thursday ahead of games against the Tigers (Friday, 8:30 p.m. Central, cjob.com) and Broncos (Saturday, 8 p.m. Central, 680 CJOB).