The regular season is over for the Creston Valley Thunder Cats, who played their final game of the 2011-2012 season on Sunday. With 65 points, the Thunder Cats placed third in the Eddie Mountain Division of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, and will take on the second-place Kimberley Dynamiters in the first round of the playoffs.
The Thunder Cats split their final games against Kimberley, losing 8-7 on Feb. 15, but winning 7-5 in double overtime on Friday.
The Dynamiters scored four goals in the Feb. 15 game before Trevor Hanna and Trevor LeBlanc scored for the Thunder Cats in the second period. The Dynamiters scored in that period and midway through the third, but the Thunder Cats bounced back, with Jesse Collins (three), Scott Swiston and Trevor Forward scoring five goals in two-and-a-half minutes.
“It shows some resilience when you’re down four goals with five minutes left and you’re able to battle back and put it into overtime,” said head coach Brent Heaven. “We really came out and played a solid period.”
A Kimberley goal with a minute left tied the score 7-7, sending the game into two overtime periods, the second of which lasted a minute before the Dynamiters scored.
The Dynamiters visited Creston on Friday, but injuries and illness got the Thunder Cats off to a slow start, with Kimberley scoring two early goals.
“We were able to battle back and get ourselves in the lead, and this time we were able to hold on,” said Heaven.
Forward and Jordan Johnson scored two of their own in the first period, and each scored again early in the second. Brock Ward scored between two Kimberley goals late in the period, giving Creston a 5-4 lead heading in to the third. The Dynamiters managed a single goal in the final period, and Forward and Collins scored to give the Thunder Cats a 7-5 win.
That win kept the Dynamiters in second place, with 74 points, allowing the Thunder Cats to take them on in the first round of the playoffs, rather than the Fernie Ghostriders, with 75.
The Thunder Cats took on the Golden Rockets on Saturday and Sunday, losing both to the Golden team.