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Dynamiters and Thunder Cats Remain Undefeated in KIJHL

The Kimberley Dynamiters and the Creston Valley Thunder Cats are undefeated in the Eddie Mountain Division to begin the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League season, both winning their first four games of the year.

Creston Valley Thunder Cats (4-0-0-0)

Playing back-to-back road games over the weekend, the Creston Valley Thunder Cats took care of business, improving their record to 4-0 to begin the season. Battling the Columbia Valley Rockies in Invermere on Friday, the Thunder Cats earned a 5-3 victory. Logan Berggren led the Thunder Cats with 3 points (2G, 1A) while Ryan O’Laney stopped 30 of 33 shots for his third straight win to start the year. On Saturday, the Thunder Cats travelled to Fernie to take on the Ghostriders, spoiling their home opener with another 5-3 win. Carson Small (2G, 1A) and Josh Dalquist (3A) led Creston with three points apiece while Sylvin Menard was lights out between the pipes, earning his first win of the season by stopping 49 of 52 shots. Playing 8 of their first 9 games away from home, the Thunder Cats return to the road this coming weekend as they venture into Kamloops and 100 Mile House for games Friday and Saturday.

Kimberley Dynamiters (4-0-0-0)

The Kimberley Dynamiters remain perfect through their first four games of the new KIJHL season, defeating both the Nelson Leafs and the Columbia Valley Rockies on home ice. Taking on Nelson on Friday at the Kimberley Civic Centre, the Dynamiters squeezed out a 4-3 win in overtime. Outshooting the Leafs 42-31 in the contest, 10 different skaters found the scoresheet for Kimberley while Brock Palmer led the team with two assists. Although Nelson would tie the game with 1:28 to play in the third period, Kimberley would skate away with the win on Tyler Cheetham’s game-winning goal in overtime. Back at the Civic Centre on Saturday, Kimberley secured a 4-2 win off the backs of Brock Palmer (2G, 1A) and Beau Larson (2G, 1A) who each had 3 points on the night. Looking to remain undefeated, Kimberley plays their first road game of the season on Tuesday against the Fernie Ghostriders, before a single home game on Friday against the Princeton Posse. Tuesday’s rivalry with Fernie drops at 7:30 pm from Fernie Memorial Arena while Friday’s game gets underway at 7:00 pm at the Civic Centre.

Golden Rockets (3-1-0-0)

The Golden Rockets have had a strong start to their season, rifling off back-to-back wins over the weekend to give them their best start to a KIJHL season in years. At Golden Arena on Friday, the Rockets defending home ice with a 5-2 victory over the visiting Fernie Ghostriders. Scoring three first-period goals, the Rockets never looked back as Brandon Weare made 34 saves in the win while Dylan Ford (1G, 2A) and Louis Ferraro (3A) led Golden with 3 points. Hitting the road on Saturday, the Rockets travelled to Chase for a cross-conference contest with the Heat. Despite being outshot 41-28, the Rockets crushed the Heat 5-1. Jonah Chambers stopped 40 of 41 shots in the victory while Golden had five different goalscorers on the night. Looking to keep their momentum rolling, Golden will again split their weekend, first hosting the Castlegar Rebels on Friday at 7:30 pm from Golden Arena before Saturday’s road matchup against the Sicamous Eagles.

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Columbia Valley Rockies (1-2-0-0)

Columbia Valley started off their season with a win but lost back-to-back games over the weekend to fall below .500 to begin the year. At home on Friday, the Rockies hosted the Creston Valley Thunder Cats at Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena, only to fall 5-3. Despite having a 2-1 lead in the first period, the Thunder Cats would score four unanswered goals to eventually take the win. Nikolas Scheiwiller led Columbia Valley with two goals in the loss. Hoping to bounce back on Saturday, the Rockies travelled to Kimberley to go head-to-head with the undefeated Kimberley Dynamiters. Down 3-2 in the second, the Rockies pushed for an equalizer in the third but the Dynamiters would put the game away with an empty netter. Brennan Nelson and Jace Paarup would score both goals for Columbia Valley in the defeat. The Rockies return to Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena this weekend, as they get set for a three-game homestand. Two of those games go this weekend as the Fernie Ghostriders and Castlegar Rebels visit Invermere on Friday and Saturday. Both games drop at 7:00 pm.

Fernie Ghostriders (1-2-0-0)

The Fernie Ghostriders had their party spoiled on Saturday, as they had hoped to open the season with three straight wins but are instead 1-2 to begin the year after losing both of their matchups this weekend. Travelling on Friday, Fernie was in Golden to take on the Rockets, dropping that contest 5-2 after allowing three goals in the opening period. Seamus Keith and Jordon Kromm both scored in the loss. Saturday was Fernie’s home opener at Fernie Memorial Arena as the opposing Creston Valley Thunder Cats rolled into town. Hoping to snap Creston’s three-game winning streak to start the year, the Ghostriders fell 5-3 instead. Firing 52 shots on goal, Fernie couldn’t seem to find enough answers to Creston netminder Sylvin Menard as Ethan Fitzgerald allowed 5 goals on 25 shots, starting the season with a 1-2 record, a 4.21 GAA and a .874 SV%. The former WHL netminder will look to get back on track as the Ghostriders have three games on the schedule this week. Fernie hosts the Kimberley Dynamiters on Tuesday at 7:30 pm before Friday’s road matchup in Invermere against the Columbia Valley Rockies at 7:30 pm and Saturday’s meeting with the Princeton Posse back at the Fernie Memorial Arena at 7:30 pm.

Eddie Mountain Division Standings

Creston Valley Thunder Cats 4 4 0 0 0 8 22 8 14 W4
Kimberley Dynamiters 4 4 0 0 0 8 18 11 7 W4
Golden Rockets 4 3 1 0 0 6 15 11 4 W2
Columbia Valley Rockies 3 1 2 0 0 2 8 11 -3 L2
Fernie Ghostriders 3 1 2 0 0 2 8 12 -4 L2
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