The following-man-up mentality is one thing you’ll hear infrequently in sports activities.
In group sports activities, these 4 phrases are sometimes the primary uttered by teammates after a selected participant, usually distinguished, goes down with an harm and is compelled to overlook a bit of time. It’s a go-to cliche. Nevertheless it wouldn’t be one if it weren’t true.
And whereas it doesn’t make for the very best sound chunk, the Winnipeg Ice aren’t simply utilizing it, they’re proving it to be the case on the ice this season as they sit atop the Western Hockey League’s East Division.
Certainly, when adversity has struck this season, the Ice have discovered a approach to rise above it. Whether or not that has meant surviving with out 2019 Vegas Golden Knights first-round decide Peyton Krebs for 2 months to begin the season as he rehabbed from torn Achilles’ tendon, to shedding Dean McNabb in purpose to a knee harm or budding ahead Mikey Milne to a shoulder ailment, the Ice have had guys step up at key instances.
“You’re not changing, it’s simply a chance for another person,” Ice head coach James Patrick mentioned because the Ice took their morning skate Saturday at The Rink Coaching Centre.
The newest harm adversity for the Ice has hit them on the high of their statistics web page, with one-time main scorer Connor McClennon out for 2 months because of a damaged collarbone suffered every week and a half in the past.
Nobody mentioned it will be straightforward.
“Connor, Peyton and Owen Pederson had developed some actual good chemistry (as a line),” Patrick mentioned. “We’ve needed to reshuffle a bit.”
Getting Michal Teply again from the world junior championship was an essential first step. The fourth-round decide this previous summer season by the Chicago Blackhawks tallied 5 assists together with his native Czech Republic earlier this month.
When McClennon went down injured, Patrick moved the 6-foot-Three left-winger to the highest line.
“Michal’s a great participant, he’s acquired a great shot, and earlier than he left he was our main scorer,” Patrick mentioned. “He’s a special participant than Connor, so it’s a chance for him to hopefully create with Peyton. On the finish of the day, you want guys on the highest two strains to supply for you.”
That top-six now consists of Milne, who was promoted to cowl off Teply’s former spot on the second line.
“Connor’s a giant a part of our group, it’s onerous to fill a niche like that, however we’ve got an ideal bunch of fellows and we all know everybody can fill everybody’s position if we work onerous,” Milne mentioned. “The chance I’ve been given is a giant one and I’m going to just accept it and check out my finest to fill that void.”
For Patrick, he’s additionally discovering out who can play with the added stress they’ve been levied with. Milne mentioned he is aware of that at any level, subpar play by himself may result in a man behind him leapfrogging him within the lineup.
“There are completely different expectations for various guys,” Patrick mentioned. “I do know when somebody is given a chance, they get appears to be like or they get put in conditions, how do they reply to them? Do they make the suitable performs? Do they execute? That’s what you’re in search of. And nonetheless, as a coach, you need to be lifelike to what every particular person can do.”
Patrick mentioned Isaac Johnson, the group’s right-wing on the second line, has maybe been the group’s finest participant over the previous two months. He’s second in group scoring with 17 targets and 47 factors, two shy of McClennon’s tempo, and is at the moment driving a four-game level streak and a span of eight video games the place he has a minimum of a degree in seven of them.
Johnson has a four-point evening on Saturday to take over because the group’s main scorer.
After which there’s Winnipeg’s blue line, which has been a driving pressure offensive this season thanks to 2 rookies in Carson Lambos and Benjamin Zloty, who sit one-two respectively in scoring amongst rookie defencemen.
“We’re simply attempting to get it into the arms of the expert guys, simply belief what they’ll do,” Lambos mentioned.
Up to now, that’s equated to a run of eight wins of their previous 11 video games as they proceed to cost towards the playoffs.
BIG-TIME RALLY FOR ICE IN LATEST WIN
Isaac Johnson scored and added three assists because the Winnipeg Ice scored 5 unanswered in a 5-2 comeback win towards the Victoria Royals on Saturday.
Johnson, who Ice coach James Patrick labelled as his group’s finest participant over the previous two months, took over the group’s scoring lead, which now sits at 51. Johnson has 20 factors in his previous 9 video games and is at the moment driving a five-game level streak.
Michal Teply scored twice on the facility play and Peyton Krebs had three assists for Winnipeg, who avenged a Three-2 loss to the Calgary Hitmen of their final outing this previous Sunday.
Victoria led 2-Zero after a 14-shot first interval however managed simply 5 photographs throughout the following two frames. Mikey Milne, Colin Muir and Teply scored within the second interval, whereas Teply added his second and Johnson scored his 18th of the season within the third.
Liam Hughes made 17 saves for his 13th win of the season.
Winnipeg hosts the Moose Jaw Warriors at Wayne Fleming Enviornment on Sunday.