Scoring only 17 goals in the first eight games of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League 2014 season has led to a rocky start for the Creston Valley Thunder Cats.
The Cats failed in a bid for their third win of the season by dropping a 5-2 decision to the visiting Summerland Steam on Sunday. Creston failed to capitalize on the power play to make the game closer after Summerland took the game’s final five minor penalties.
Summerland jumped off to a three-goal lead in the first period and Creston couldn’t find a way to claw back into contention. Paulsen Letard, now in a second place tie for the league’s scoring lead, scored 5 minutes into the game on a power play. He would later add three assists. Jack Mills and Wyatt Gale added first period markers for the visiting Steam.
Justin Post put the Thunder Cats on the board with 1:24 to play in the first period, with an assist from Carson Cartright.
Riley Pettitt restored Summerland’s three-goal lead in the second period before Lien Miller-Jeannette scored what would be Creston’s last goal of the game. Assists were awarded to Connor Kidd and Austin Steger.
Rylan Sideroff iced the game with an empty netter for the Steam late in the third period.
The loss leaves Creston with only five points, six back of third place Golden Rockies and 2 up on last place Castlegar Rebels.
The Cats’ 17 goals look even more woeful when the league’s scoring leader list is checked. Three players are tied for the lead with 17 points each. By contrast, Cartwright, Steger and Fuchs lead Creston with 5 points each.
The Thunder Cats look to turn things around on Friday, with a home game against the Kelowna Chiefs, who bring a 4-4-1 record to town. On Saturday, Creston travels to Grand Forks to take on the Border Bruins, who are 5-6 and tied for third place in the Neil Murdoch Division.