Thunder cats stay hot with two wins

Web Lead

Creston Valley Thunder Cats

A balanced scoring attack and stingy goaltending continued to be the story on the weekend as the Creston Valley Thunder Cats added two more wins to their KIJHL-leading total.

Justen James led the scoring parade in Friday night’s 7-0 home win against the Columbia Valley Rockies.  The rightwinger scored 2 goals and added an assist, and now sits tied with Kyle Bergh and Liam Plunkett for the team lead with 13 points. Brock Lefebvre had a perfect night in goal, turning aside all 16 Rockies’ shots to earn his third shutout of the season.

James scored the first period’s only goal, with assists going to Grant Iles and Jake Livingstone. Bergh, from Ronnie Wilkie and Dylan Kent, and McConnell Kimmett, from Landon Siegle and Luke Kaleniuk, had the Thunder Cats up 3-0 after two periods.

It was all Creston in the final frame. Plunket (Siegle and Livingstone), James (Plunkett and Kaleniuk), Aiden Wong (James and Lien Miller-Jeannotte) and Sebastien Kilcommons (Plunkett and Iles) rounded out the scoring.

James was named the Creston game star in front of a crowd of 386. Columbia Valley goalie was the Rockies’ star despite letting in 7 goals. He stopped 41 of the 48 shots he faced.

“We played hard for a full 60 minutes and avoided the poor stretches that had sneaked into our game the previous few games,” Thunder Cat coach Jeff Dubois said on Sunday. “We kept our turnovers low and didn’t give up second and third chances in our defensive zone.

Offensively, everybody was involved and we were getting lots of pucks and bodies to the net. We laid out an offensive game plan for our guys and they executed on it.”

While the win was a team effort, Dubois pointed out one player who has been particularly impressive.

“Liam Plunkett is really developing into a complete player at our level. He always gives a great effort, battles and gets the job done on the defensive side of the puck, but he’s evolved into one of our top offensive players and a guy who can really create his own chances and open things up for his linemates.”

Creston took their winning ways west to Castlegar on Saturday night, where they handed the Rebels a 6-2 defeat. Six different scorers contributed as the Cats earned their ninth win in 11 games.

Creston jumped off to a 2-0 lead in the opening frame on goals from local player Logan Wullum, who scored from Livingstone and Iles, and Siegle, with Kilcommons assisting. Cankovic (Miller-Jeannotte and Kaleniuk) and Wilkie (Bergh) extended Creston lead before Ellis Junker put the Rebels on the scoreboard.

Shawn Campbell helped close the lead to 4-2 with 2:46 to go in the game, but Plunkett scored into an empty net with help from Wullum and Iles. Kaleniuk added an insurance goal with 18 seconds left with an assist going to Miller-Jeannotte. Lefebre gave up 2 goals while stopping 26 shots.

“For the most part we played a really strong and smart road game,” the coach said. “We came out a bit slow but started controlling the game over the second half of the first period and didn’t give up much defensively once we took a lead.”

He tipped his hand on what the Thunder Cats players can expect this week in preparation for the weekend.

“Our power-play had a handful of chances where we could have put the game away but we lacked some urgency and didn’t capitalize on those opportunities. That will be an area we focus on in practice this week.”

Dubois singled out two lesser known players for comment.”

Logan Wullum was back in our line-up after missing a few weeks due to injury and he gave us a ton of energy, plus he scored the opening goal on Saturday,” he said. “Landon Siegle has been getting more and more comfortable after a bit of a slow start and he’s starting to make things happen offensively.”

Despite Creston’s hot start the team remains only 2 points up on the Kimberley Dynamiters, who have also played 11 games. The Thunder Cats remain undefeated in regulation time, with 9 wins, a tie and an overtime loss, and have earned 20 of a possible 22 points. Kimberley sits in second place in the Eddie Mountain Conference with 18 points on 9 wins and 2 losses. Only the Okanagan/Shuswap Conference-leading Summerland Steam have 20 points after weekend play, but they have needed 13 games (9 wins, 2 losses and 2 overtime losses) to get that total.

Balanced scoring? The Thunder Cats have 10 players with at least 10 points at this point. Cankovic and Kilcommons share second place in team scoring with a dozen points each. Wong, Iles, Kimmett, Miller-Jeannotte and Livingstone each have 10 points.

The Thunder Cats hit the road to take on the Golden Rockets on Friday night, then the teams head back to Creston for a return match on Saturday night. Golden has a 3 and 9 record, and has a -19 goal differential after a dozen games. By contrast, Creston leads the KIJHL with a +34 as they average exactly 5 goals a game for and are giving up just under 2 goals a game.



Just Posted

BWC applies for federal money on homelessness plan

Dara Sutton spoke to council on Oct. 16.

Fernie in last stages of cleanup from damages caused by ammonia leak

Community memorial service in the works for 3 victims of Fernie Memorial Arena ammonia leak

WATCH: Steps being made to extract ammonia, say experts

City workers and family members spoke to media today

Speaking Earth provides guests with totally unique Ktunaxa experience

Paul Rodgers There is a painting and quote of Elder Mary Paul… Continue reading

One injured in Cranbrook stabbing

Shortly before midnight, Cranbrook RCMP were called to a report of a… Continue reading

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

B.C. NDP convention set for Victoria

Premier, federal leader Jagmeet Singh to add energy

B.C. school trustee calls LGBTQ school program ‘weapon of propaganda’

Chilliwack’s Barry Neufeld published the comments on his Facebook page

B.C. couple hope boat drone becomes first to cross Atlantic

Colin and Julie Angus of Victoria to have drone collect environmental data en route

Crawford Bay celebrates new playground

A grand opening for the renovated site is set for Sunday afternoon

B.C. casino accused of illegal activity follows rules: operator

B.C. had launched review after concerns about money laundering at River Rock casino in Richmond

Opponents of LGBTQ program to file human rights complaint against Surrey School District

District denied Parents United Canada right to rent Bell Performing Arts Centre for rally next month

Ex-employee describes alleged sexual assault by B.C. city councillor

Complainant was a teen during the alleged 1992 incident

Most Read