The Fernie Ghostriders and Columbia Valley Rockies are a perfect 2-0 to start the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) regular season, both beating the Kimberley Dynamiters and Creston Valley Thunder Cats this past weekend.
Fernie Ghostriders vs Kimberley Dynamiters
Fernie opened their season with a 4-3 overtime victory Friday night at the Kimberley Civic Centre.
Ethan MacDuff scored two goals for the Ghostriders in the win, including the game-winner in overtime. Hayden Sotheran also had two goals for Fernie in the victory, while Ian Lee stopped 28 of 31 shots.
For Kimberley, Ty Smith, Ryan Bennett, and Carter Spring got their first goals of the season as Trystan Self made 29 saves in the loss.
Flipping venues on Saturday, the Ghostriders were 4-3 victors in their home opener at Fernie Memorial Arena.
Sawan Gill and Kort Kisinger got the Ghostriders out to an early 2-0 lead in the first. Kimberley responded with goals from Spring and Kasey Miller. However, Fernie would close out the period with a 4-2 lead as Sotheran potted his third of the season, followed by Brady Stange’s first of the year. The Dynamiters would add one more goal from Easton Jolie, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit.
Getting back-to-back starts, Lee turned aside 25 shots in the win, while Self also made 25 saves for the Dynamiters, but took his second loss of the year.
The second game was a penalty-filled affair with 146 total penalty minutes including 11 misconducts, one was a 20-minute gross misconduct to Kimberley’s Karsten Gorrill following a slash, while Fernie’s Noah Doherty had a 10-minute game misconduct in the first period for a hit from behind. The majority of the other misconducts were offsetting other than a 10-minute misconduct by Cash Regan of the Dynamiters for head contact about midway through the third period. There were just 26 penalty minutes in the season opener on Friday.
Upcoming for both teams, the Ghostriders get set for another home-and-home series with the Columbia Valley Rockies while the Dynamiters do the same with the Creston Valley Thunder Cats. All games are at 7:30 pm on Friday and Saturday and can be streamed on HockeyTV with a subscription.
Columbia Valley Rockies vs Creston Valley Thunder Cats
The Columbia Valley Rockies opened their season with a 5-2 victory over the Creston Valley Thunder Cats at Invermere’s Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena.
Outshooting the Thunder Cats 48-38, the Rockies had five different goal scorers in the win, while Noah Decottignies made 36 stops for the first win of his KIJHL career. AJ Belanger, Palmer Sinclair, Brady Dovichak, Adam Berthiaume, and Dylan Malarchuk all lit the lamp in the home opener.
Vin Jackson and Eric Van Loon each scored for Creston in the loss while Jaden Little turned aside 43 shots.
Creston would look to rebound on Saturday night at Johnny Bucyk Arena but the Rockies once again skated to a 4-2 win.
Zack Dovichak, Colby Phillips, and Bryson Monych each got their first goals of the season for the Rockies in the victory while Malarchuk put home an empty netter for his second of the year. Van Loon got his second of the season for the Thunder Cats in the loss, while Reece Nelson opened the scoring for Creston.
Between the pipes, Decottignies made 14 stops for the win as Little turned aside 25 of 28 for the Thunder Cats.
The undefeated Columbia Valley Rockies will now go head-to-head with the undefeated Fernie Ghostriders this upcoming weekend for another home-and-home set. Both games are set for 7:30 pm from Eddie Mountain and Fernie Memorial Arenas on Friday and Saturday. The winless Thunder Cats will battle the winless Dynamiters in the other home-and-home series as those games drop at 7:30 pm from the Kimberley Civic Centre on Friday and Creston’s Johnny Bucyk Arena on Saturday.