KIJHL: Creston Valley Thunder Cats clinch second in Eddie Mountain Division

Web Lead

With Saturday’s win, the Creston Valley Thunder Cats clinched second place in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s Eddie Mountain Division.

But they won’t be coasting through the last few games of the season: tomorrow’s game against the Nelson Leafs and back-to-back away-home games against the Columbia Valley Rockies.

“We’re not going anywhere up or down,” said head coach Jeff Dubois. “At the same time, Columbia Valley and Fernie are in a battle for third place. We’ve got to respect the fact that there are other teams working hard for playoff positions.”

Dubois will be resting a few key players on the weekend, keeping them primed for next week’s playoffs, but will be looking to continue the Thunder Cats’ six-game winning streak.

“We’re taking some real pride in how we’re playing,” said Dubois. “We want to be a team that finishes the season going into the playoffs on the right note.”

Their weekend games started with a 6-3 win over the visiting Golden Rockets on Friday.

“Golden played us tight in the first period,” said Dubois. “In the second, it felt like we took over a little bit.”

A goal by Logan Styler tied the game 1-1 late in the first period, with Grant Iles (power play) and Carson Cartwright adding two more in the second before Golden’s second goal. In the third period, Logan Wullum (shorthanded) and Iles scored 30 seconds apart, followed by a Rockets goal. Iles scored again on an empty net with 17 seconds remaining.

The game marked Iles’ first hat trick since joining the Thunder Cats in a December trade, and it was also the junior hockey debut for two affiliate players, Creston’s Alex Blackmore and Ryan MacDonald from the BC Hockey League’s Kootenay Ice major midget team based in Nelson.

Friday was also the return of Lien Miller-Jeannotte, who was on the injured list for six weeks. He, Styler and Iles earned a total of 11 points in that game.

“Those guys were in on three goals, and Grant and Logan were also invovled in the power-play goal,” said Dubois. “It was a big night for them offensively.”

Saturday’s road trip to Grand Forks also resulted in a 6-3 win for Creston, but the game was much different, with the Border Bruins taking a 2-0 lead by the early second period. Creston’s response was a power-play goal by Jackson Bruce-Fuoco five minutes into the period. Grand Forks took 11 minutes to take a 3-1 lead with a shorthanded goal — and then the Thunder Cats scored five more power-play goals.

Carson Cartwright earned a hat trick, scoring twice late in the second period and halfway through the third, followed by two goals from Styler in the last 3:39.

“It was really a night where our top players were really dangerous and got the job done to get us the win,” said Dubois.

He was pleased to see Bruce-Fuoco, the team’s captain, showing leadership skills in that game, both by scoring and standing up to a Border Bruin picking a fight.

“He’s a guy who has that spark in dressing room, a guy who answers the bell physically,” said Dubois. “That’s what you want form your captain. He finds a way to bring value every time he’s on the ice.”

Just Posted

Everyone is entitled to their opinion

I do not appreciate having someone’s opinion shoved in my face.

Let there be peace

Let us show respect and love

Holiday season means more impaired drivers are on the road

It was another slow week for Creston RCMP members, who responded to… Continue reading

Committee for an Affordable Fire Hall ready to get to work

The public will be invited to submit their written ideas for “the top ten ways to get an affordable fire hall.”

Testimony wraps up in Blackmore charter challenge

After evidence from RCMP officers, crown and defence lawyers move to closing arguments.

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Debt-to-household-income ratio rises in third quarter

Total household credit market debt grew to $2.11 trillion in the third quarter

B.C. Mountie told to resign after texting teenage sex assault victim

RCMP documents say Const. Brian Eden sent sexually inappropriate photos to 17-year-old girl

Family doctors should learn to treat addiction, not shun patients: scientist

B.C. Centre on Substance Use’s Dr. Evan Wood said efforts underway to change addiction medicine image

Four dog deaths investigated in Cranbrook

One vet suggests a parallel to these deaths and similar ones in 2016

Meningococcal disease outbreak declared in Okanagan

Five cases in last six months among 15- to 19-year-olds, including one in Vernon

Province rejects Ajax mine in Kamloops

KGHM Ajax had proposed a 1,700-hectare open-pit copper and gold mine, just southwest of Kamloops

Border officers rally at B.C.’s Peace Arch

CBSA employees tire of ‘lack of respect’

FCC votes along party lines to end ‘net neutrality’

Move rolls back restrictions that keep big providers from blocking services they don’t like

Most Read