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Thunder Cats split the weekend with Fernie, Golden

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Barry Coulter

The Creston Valley Thunder Cats hosted a possible first-round playoff opponent on Friday, Feb. 9, at the Johnny Bucyk Arena, the Fernie Ghostriders.

The ‘Cats got off to a slow start against the Eddie Mountain Division leading Ghostriders — the visitors got three unanswered goals in the first period (from Hudson Scrimshaw, Taylor Haggerty and Riley Enns), and another four minutes into the second frame (from Dayton Collier) to make it 4-0.

Liam Munro got Creston on the board one minute later.

Nikolai Morrison scored only 18 seconds into the third period, to give the Thunder Cats the hope of a comeback, but Eli Neilson answered almost immediately for Fernie.

Luke Chakrabarti made it 5-3 at 13:58, but that was the last Creston could muster, even with goaltender Dario Cantini pulled for the extra attacker with a minute and a half left in the game.

Creston actually outshot the Ghostriders 37-34 in the game. Cantini made 29 saves for Creston, Nick Kunyk made 34 for Fernie.

Penalties were few — one minor each in the first period and a minor late in the second to Fernie.

The 5-3 score is the same as the last Thunder Cats-Ghostriders match-up, January 9 in Creston. Of the six games these two teams have played this season, Creston has won three and Fernie has won three.

The Thunder Cats headed off to Golden, Saturday, Feb. 10, for a road game against the Rockets. The Rockets, who will not make the KIJHL playoffs this year, managed to come back from a two-goal deficit to take the game to overtime.

Simon Hamilton opened the scoring just 10 second into the game — an unassisted goal — and Nikolai Morrison’s 20 of the season came just 30 seconds later, to make it 2-0 Creston. Creston outshot the Rockets 15-3 in the first period, but Golden finally found their feet and pushed back in the second, putting 17 shots on Jacob Burnside, in net for Creston, and getting a goal from Dominic Fiorentino.

Reid Ashcroft tied it up in the third.

And so to overtime, where Nikolai Morrison’s second of the game came at the 1:03 mark to settle the affair.

Creston outshot Golden 39 to 33 on Saturday.

The Thunder Cats were set to host the Spokane Braves on Tuesday, Feb. 13, and will head to Spokane for their final game Saturday, Feb. 17.

The KIJHL playoffs are set to begin Friday, February 23, with the Thunder Cats meeting either the Kimberley Dynamiters or the Fernie Ghostriders in the first round. That will be seen this weekend, as Fernie and Kimberley play each other twice to end the season, in Kimberley then Fernie, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 16 and 17 respectively, to determine first place in the Eddie Mountain Division.



Barry Coulter

About the Author: Barry Coulter

Barry Coulter had been Editor of the Cranbrook Townsman since 1998, and has been part of all those dynamic changes the newspaper industry has gone through over the past 20 years.
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