Two out of three ain’t bad. Two weekend wins, following a 5-4 Friday night loss to the Beaver Valley Nitehawks, have left the Creston Valley Thunder Cats with a four-win, five-loss record after the first nine games of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League season.
The Cats rebounded from a narrow defeat at the hands of the 7-and-2 Nitehawks with two home ice wins. Creston bounced the Grand Forks Border Bruins 4-2 on Saturday and followed up on Sunday with a 6-4 win over the winless Chase Heat.
In Sunday’s home game, the Thunder Cats jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead on goals by Trevor Hanna and Jovi Fabbri, but Chase gamely fought back and the first period ended in a 3-3 tie. Fabbri scored Creston’s third goal.
Trevor Forward scored the only goal of the second period and Brandon Formosa scored what proved to be the game winner early in the third. Chase narrowed the gap to 5-4 with 1:13 left in the game, but Formosa sealed the win with an empty-netter two seconds before the final buzzer.
On Saturday in Grand Forks, the Cats led 3-0 early in the final frame on goals by Forward, C.J. Caputo and Formosa. Two third period goals, the second with 1:43 left in the game, put the Bruins within striking distance, but Fabbri scored into the empty net to break the home team’s heart.
Against Beaver Valley, the Cats fought back from a two-goal deficit to the game at four in the third period, but a last minute goal by the home team gave Beaver Valley the victory. Creston was led by a two goal effort from Tyler Akeroyd, with Scott Butters and Forward adding singles.
The Thunder Cats look to edge back to the .500 mark with three games this week, two at home. Creston plays host to the Columbia Valley Rockies on Thursday and Castlegar Rebels on Friday before heading south to Spokane for a Saturday evening tilt with the 3-7 Braves.
The Thunder Cats remain in fourth place in the Eddie Mountain Division, a point back of the Golden Rockets, who have two games in hand.