After a hard fought battle, the Creston Valley Thunder Cats have been eliminated in the Kootenay International Hockey League (KIJHL) Teck Cup Championships.
The first round of the playoffs ended March 3, as the Beaver Valley Nitehawks narrowly defeated the Thunder Cats 3-2 in the seventh and final deciding game.
The Thunder Cats opened the scoring on a goal by forward Campbell McLean in the first. Then the Nitehawks answered back with two goals from Gavin Tritt and Austin McKenzie.
Luke Chakrabarti evened the score at 2-2 midway through the second period. Owen Albers finished with 28 saves for the Thunder Cats, while Carlos Siso made 38 saves.
The Nitehawk’s Nathan Dominici, originally from Trail, scored the winner with 6:11 minutes remaining in the third period, his second goal of the playoffs.
For his efforts, McLean has been named one of the KIJHL Stars of the Week. The Whitecourt, Alberta product scored five goals and added three assists in three games, including two game-winning goals as he helped the Thunder Cats force a seventh game against the Nitehawks. In a 5-3 win on Feb. 28 in Game 5, McLean had three goals, including the winner and an assist. He collected a goal and an assist in the next two games. In seven playoff games, McLean finished with seven goals and 13 points, ranking him third among KIJHL point producers.
The other two Stars of the Week are defenceman Brennan Wilson of the Nitehawks and goalie Jack Osmond of the Chase Heat.
The KIJHL Teck Cup Championships will continue into the second round, with the Nitehawks set to play the Nelson Leafs.
For more information on the standings, visit crestonvalleythundercats.com/stats/standings.