The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) has released its schedule for the 2021-22 season.
The Creston Valley Thunder Cats will play their first home game of the season on Friday, Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the Johnny Bucyk Arena against the Fernie Ghostriders.
There will be several other divisional battles on the opening night of Oct. 1, with the Kimberley Dynamiters facing off against the Columbia Valley Rockies, the Beaver Valley Nitehawks versus the Nelson Leafs, and the Castlegar Rebels against the Golden Rockets.
Defending KIJHL and Cyclone Taylor Cup champions, the Revelstoke Grizzlies begin their season on Saturday, Oct. 2 as they travel to play the Kamloops Storm.
The final game of the 42-game regular season will be on Saturday, Feb 19, 2022 with Creston playing against Fernie, one last time.
This season will feature the return of the 100 Mile House Wranglers and the Beaver Valley Nitehawks. However, the Spokane Braves announced on Aug. 18 they will be taking another season off due to the pandemic.
This means the league is still lacking its full 20-team strength, which will lead to some adjustments and revisions of the 2021-22 season. Typically, there is a four division format, featuring five teams each competing in the Doug Birks, Eddie Mountain, Neil Murdoch, and Bill Ohlhausen Divisions.
Every team plays a 42-game regular season, which includes eight games against each divisional rival and two games against opponents from the alternate division within the same conference.
Following a break for the holidays from Dec. 20 to 27, the season will resume on Dec. 28 until it concludes on Feb. 19.
Play offs will begin on Feb 22 with 16 teams competing for the Teck Cup.
Tickets for local games can be purchased at crestonvalleythundercats.com/tickets, with discounts available on season passes until Aug. 31. Games can also be viewed live online with a HockeyTV subscription.
– With files from Paul Rodgers
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