Thunder Cats ousted from KIJHL playoffs

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Creston Valley Thunder Cats.

Creston Valley Thunder Cats will be in the BC Junior B provincial hockey championships, but they won’t have earned their way in by knocking off the KIJHL competition.

The locals were dumped 5-2 in Kimberley on Tuesday night, and the second-place regular season team (Eddie Mountain Division) now moves on, leaving Creston to watch from the sidelines. Kimberley won the series four games to two.

“Yeah, tough loss tonight,” assistant coach Brad Tobin said after the game on Tuesday night. “We didn’t have the same energy to start the game as we did a night earlier at home. We definitely had scoring chances throughout the night, but we couldn’t buy a goal. Their goalie Cody Campbell had a terrific series, and give him credit he stood on his head when they needed him most.”

Kimberley took a 1-0 lead into the dressing room after 20 minutes of play on a goal from Nolan Kurylo.

Justen James (Aiden Wong and Sebastian Kilcommons) pulled Creston even 2:16 into the second, but that was the Thunder Cats last gasp. Kurylo’s second goal restored the Dynamiters’ lead and a late period power play effort by Nic Herringer put the home team in the driver’s seat.

Nicholas Ketola scored only 14 seconds into the final frame make it a 4-1 game and James Farmer scored an empty netter late. Grant Iles (Lien Miller-Jeannottee and Luke Kalenuik) notched the game’s final goal.

“It’s a tough pill to swallow right now as our guys battled hard through bumps and bruises,” Tobin said.” But we have the chance that not many teams in all of hockey have, which is get to come back and compete for a provincial championship. We’ll take a few days off here and get back to work preparing for the Cyclone Taylor Cup.”

So now it’s back to the practice routine, and a more than three-week wait until Cyclone Taylor Cup play begins of April 6.

The Dynamiters advanced to take on the league’s top regular season team, the Beaver Valley Nitehawks. At press time, Kimberley and Beaver Valley were tied with one win each in their 7-game series. Osoyoos had a 2-0 lead over the Chase Heat.



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