Skapski stole two more big points for Kootenay with 42 saves, many of them on gold-edged chances, in a 1-0 road win over the Medicine Hat Tigers. The Ice, who are within range of sixth-place Medicine Hat, made an early power-play salvo by Brock Montgomery stand up for 55-plus minutes. Much of that was thanks to Skapski, the 19-year-old from Abbotsford, B.C., who has been a workhorse for the Ice, recording a 2.65 average and .913 save percentage while playing in 57 of the Ice's 63 games.
Skapski, who now has seven shutouts this season, helped preserve the Ice lead with a big glove save on Tigers defenceman Tyler Lewington early in the third period. Skapski also thwarted a dangerous chance generated by Tigers scoring leader Curtis Valk later in the final frame. He made 17 stops in all over the final 20 minutes, when the Tigers were looking to take the win and get separation from the Ice in the standings.
The win kept Kootenay within one point of seventh-place Swift Current and three of the Tigers in the WHL's Eastern Conference. Coach Ryan McGill's Ice are not only going to make the playoffs after languishing in last place early in the season, but they might not go in as the 8 seed.
No. 2 star: Dylan Wruck, Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
Wruck (1G-1A, +1) was The Man in the co-game of the night, as he took over in the later stages to help Edmonton beat Portland 4-3 in the big WHL final rematch. He delivered in his long-awaited chance to beat the Winterhawks; remember, he missed the league final last season due to injury.Read More »from Kootenay Ice’s Mackenzie Skapski’s 42-save shutout stands with big wins by Blades and Oil Kings: Wednesday’s 3 Stars