The Creston Valley Thunder Cats were brought back down to earth on Saturday when they dropped a 5-2 decision after the previous night’s 8-1 blowout.
“We were fighting the puck for most of the night, not being able to connect on the simple passes out of our zone wasn’t helping our cause,” head coach Brad Tobin said on Sunday. “Our emotions were getting the best of us for a second straight night. Certain players need to understand that taking us off the powerplay on a delayed penalty doesn’t help the team in the playoffs where every powerplay is crucial.”
Cooper Kraus and Liam Plunkett (Liam Rycroft) traded goals in the opening 20 minutes. Joshua Antunes opened the second-period scoring after 1:32 of play. Ronnie Wilkie (Carson Small and Kason Furukawa) tied the game at 2-2 but a late period goal by Kade Garrity turned out to be the game-winner.
Garritty and Ryan Skitt, with an empty-netter, scored for Columbia Valley in the third.
“I liked our pushback in the later stages of the contest, we had our opportunities to tie it up in the 3rd period, but weren’t able to convert,” Tobin said.
The Rockies outshot Creston 33-32 and Sam Burford took the loss as the Thunder Cats’ goaltender.
The first round of the playoffs continues in Invermere on Monday and Tuesday nights.