Creston Valley Thunder Cat Brandon Formosa during Saturday’s game against the Columbia Valley Rockies.

Thunder Cats defeat Columbia Valley Rockies 8-2, 9-1

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The Creston Valley Thunder Cats enjoyed two wins on the weekend, with Saturday’s marking their 10th win in a row at home. In both games, they defeated the Columbia Valley Rockies, who, with seven points, trail far behind the Thunder Cats (58) in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s Eddie Mountain Division.

The Thunder Cats started the weekend by visiting the Rockies in Invermere on Friday, earning an 8-2 victory.

“We came out with a purpose, which was nice, because the last couple of times we played Columbia Valley, we had some setbacks,” said head coach Brent Heaven. “We got a quick lead and improved on that as the game progressed.”

The line of Scott Swiston, Trevor Forward and Jordan Johnson was a huge asset to the Thunder Cats, with each scoring one of the first three goals. “They worked hard and got some rewards from their work ethic,” said Heaven.

Trevor LeBlanc scored the fourth and final goal of the first period, with Brandon Formosa and Forward scoring in the second, which also saw the Rockies’ only goal. In the third period, Cody Stephenson, Darcy Flaherty and Formosa scored the sixth, seventh and eighth goals for the Thunder Cats.

The Thunder Cats continued to play well the following night at Creston’s John Bucyk Arena.

“We came out flying,” said Heaven. “We wanted to put on a good show for our crowd.”

The 10th straight home win started with goals by Jovi Fabbri, Forward, Jesse Collins and Swiston in the first period. Formosa scored late in the second, followed by a Rockies goal at 2:03.

“We didn’t stop at that point,” said Heaven. “We just continued to go.”

And go they did, with Formosa, Collins (two) and Johnson scoring in the third period for a 9-1 win.

This weekend, the Thunder Cats take on the Fernie Ghostriders twice, in Fernie on Friday and in Creston on Saturday. The Ghostriders lead the Eddie Mountain Division with 70 points, but Heaven felt the Thunder Cats were up to the challenge.

“We’ve played well against Fernie in the last little while,” he said.

And if the Thunder Cats continue to win, they may have chance to defeat the Kimberley Dynamiters for second place before the playoffs next month.

“There is an opportunity for us to get second and have home-ice advantage,” he said. “The biggest thing is just preparing ourselves and making sure we’re ready.”

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