After a few consecutive games of not playing to their full potential, the Creston Valley Thunder Cats turned up the heat on Friday, trouncing the Beaver Valley Nitehawks 10-2.
“It was as close to a full sixty-minute effort as we’ve had,” said head coach Jeff Dubious.
The Thunder Cats are second in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s Eddie Mountain Division with 34 points, 11 behind the Kimberley Dynamiters, and two and four ahead of, respectively, the Fernie Ghostriders and Columbia Valley Rockies.
The Nitehawks are currently at the top of the Neil Murdoch Division with 39 points.
“They’re probably not feeling like they played their best sixty minutes,” said Dubois. “We worked really hard to create offensive opportunities for ourselves, and did a really good job of converting the opportunities we did create.”
The Nitehawks scored first, three minutes into the game, with Ian Desrosiers tying the score six minutes later. In the second period, Logan Styler, Logan Wullum, Jackson Bruce-Fuoco and Lien Miller-Jeannotte scored before the Nitehawks scored their final goal with three seconds remaining. In the third period, Carson Cartwright (power play), Alec Wilkinson, Sebastian Kilcommons, McConnell Kimmett (power play) and Jake Livingstone added Creston’s final five goals.
Dubois was pleased with the effort of Wullum, Miller-Jeannotte and Austin Dean, who were part of three straight goals in the second peiod.
And he was particularly happy to see four defencemen — Bruce-Fuoco, Kilcommons, Kimmett and Livingstone — adding goals in the game.
“It was nice to get some offensive contribution from the blue line,” Dubois said.
The effort from the entire team was something Dubious has been stressing in practices.
“We’ve been working really hard with our group on good habits and just the little details that can become big in certain moments. … It’s one of those at the end of night you feel like it came together.”
This weekend, the Thunder Cats visit the Spokane Braves on Friday. Although the team is at the bottom of the Neil Murdoch Division with 12 points, they’re not to be underestimated.
“We beat them at home when they were up in October, but they’re certainly a team on home ice that can catch you if you’re not doing the right things,” said Dubois.
On Saturday, the Thunder Cats will host the Golden Rockets, with redemption in mind after a 5-3 loss in Golden on Nov. 22.
“I’d be shocked if the motivation level doesn’t take care of itself,” said Dubois. “The guys felt pretty sheepish with the effort they put in in Golden a couple weeks ago. The guys are going to look at that as a bit of a do-over.”