Creston Valley Thunder Cats slip into second-place tie

Creston Valley Thunder Cats slip into second-place tie

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After a weekend away that pushed them into first place in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s Eddie Mountain Division, the Creston Valley Thunder Cats slipped to second following a loss to the Fernie Ghostriders on Friday.

“We played a really good game up until the third period, and we kind of got into some penalty trouble,” said head coach Josh Hepditch.

Seven penalties — ranging from two-minute roughing to 10-minute misconduct — allowed the Ghostriders to add two power-play goals, one at 14:39 and one at 0:28, to edge the Thunder Cats 4-3.

The game started out with two early goals by the Ghostriders, matched by two power-play goals from Trevor Hanna tying the score, one at 3:45 in the first and a more impressive one one at 12:10 in the second.

“It was a top corner shot — it was a goal scorer’s goal for sure,” said Hepditch.

Despite some good stops by goalie Magnus Viberg, who blocked 34 of 38 shots, the Thunder Cats had a hard time competing against the Ghostriders.

“It was just one of those games where we played hard and were close, and those are the ones we have to learn to win,” said Hepditch.

This weekend, the Thunder Cats host the Ghostriders before visiting Fernie on Saturday. (A game against Beaver Valley runs tonight.) With Fernie a point behind the Thunder Cats, who are tied with the Columbia Valley Rockies with 12 points, Hepditch hopes the team can widen the gap, pushing closer to the first-place Kimberley Dynamiters.

“We really have to find a way to get some points there because they’re close to us in standings,” he said. “We definitely want to create some separation this weekend.”