The Creston Chiefs peewee team played in the Nelson peewee tournament Nov. 16-18, an early season test for the local team to see where they stand in the Kootenays.
Playing Castlegar, the top team in the West Kootenay, the Chiefs played their best game of the early season. An early mistake cost them the first goal, but they got stronger as the game went on.
The refereeing played a huge role in the game, but the penalty killing was great all weekend. After Castlegar scored with 1:12 left in the second period to make it 2-0, the locals came out and dominated the third period with skating and hitting — Creston couldn’t score, having chances but no finish.
The coaches thought the Chiefs matched Castlegar evenly in the intense game, and Brayden Jellis was named player of the game.
The Chiefs lost their next game to Nelson 4-1. The team learned in this game that when you don’t put the work in, bad results follow.
“We laid an egg,” said the coaches. “We came out with no effort and absolutely no energy. We deserved to lose this game.”
The lone goal was scored by Jellis, assisted by Logan Rast and Nathan Griffioen. James Porter Jr. was named player of the game.
Having learned a lesson from the earlier game, the Chiefs played better against Penticton — even though they were down 2-0 after the first period, they were battling and skating hard. The team kept the pressure on and at 17:40 in the second got on the board with a goal by Jellis. A big goal by Serge Chatwin at 17:58 of the third tied the game at 2-2, the final score. Although they had had numerous chances down the stretch, the Chiefs came up empty.
Both goaltenders played very well, the coaches noted, and the player of the game was Kale Plotnikoff.
In a 3-1 win over Salmon Arm, a first-period goal by Plotnikoff, assisted by Ettiene Boutet and Porter, set the tone for the game. In the second, another goal netted by Chatwin and assisted by Porter was the game-winner. Ty Gudjonson, helped by Shayne Walker and Griffioen, iced in the third. Chatwin was the player of the game.
Overall, the team learned if they put the effort in, they will be in the mix of tier 3 hockey. The coaches are proud of the team for their first time playing tougher teams and playing intense games. They passed the test and this will make them a better hockey team down the road.
—CRESTON VALLEY MINOR HOCKEY ASSOCIATION