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Dynamiters, Ghostriders, Thunder Cats Win Weekend Games in KIJHL

The Kimberley Dynamiters, Fernie Ghostriders, and Creston Valley Thunder Cats either started or extended winning streaks following this past weekend’s action in the Eddie Mountain Division.

Kimberley Dynamiters (16-2-0-1)

Rebounding from a 2-1 loss to the Grand Forks Border Bruins to start the month of November, Kimberley defeated the Spokane Braves and Castlegar Rebels 3-2 and 7-6 in overtime last weekend to ignite a two-game winning streak. This past weekend, the Dynamiters won back-to-back games on the road to stretch that streak to four games. In Castlegar Friday night, Kimberley defeated the Rebels 4-2. Beau Larson (1G, 2A) and Ryan Piva (2G) led the attack for the Dynamiters before the team’s 4-3 win over Golden the following night. That contest saw Brock Palmer (1G, 1A), Easton Jolie (1G, 1A), and Ryan Piva (1G, 1A) all collect two points as Kimberley scored all of their goals in the first two periods before a scoreless third. Kimberley (16-2-0-1) is now tied with Nelson (15-3-0-3) for the best record in the KIJHL with 33 points, although the Dynamiters have played two fewer games than the Leafs. Both teams clash this coming Friday in a heavyweight fight for the best record in the KIJHL as puck drop is slated for 7:00 pm from the Kimberley Civic Centre. The Dynamiters close out the weekend with another 7:00 pm matchup on Saturday against the Creston Valley Thunder Cats, again from the Civic Centre.

Creston Valley Thunder Cats (11-4-0-4)

The Creston Valley Thunder Cats righted the ship over the weekend, snapping a four-game losing slide with a pair of wins at Johnny Bucyk Arena. Winless throughout November after 5-4 (overtime), 5-1, 5-4, and 6-5 (overtime) losses to the Fernie Ghostriders, Columbia Valley Rockies, Beaver Valley Nitehawks, and Golden Rockets, the Thunder Cats got back to their winning ways against two Okanagan teams. Friday night the Thunder Cats skated to a 5-3 victory over the Osoyoos Coyotes before Sunday’s 2-1 win against the North Okanagan Knights. Leading Osoyoos 3-2 with just under 3 minutes left to play, the Coyotes would tie the game 3-3, although that would lead to Corbin Cockerill’s game-winning goal just 30 seconds later as the Thunder Cats would add an empty netter moments later to seal the 5-3 win. Logan Berggren (1G, 2A) and Connor Scammell (2G) led Creston in the tight contest. Sunday’s match with the Knights was a bit more lopsided as Sylvin Menard made 32 saves for the Thunder Cats to help them win 2-1 in a game where they were outshot 33-18. Cockerill would again score the game-winner, this time on a power play in the second period. Despite their four-game slide to start the month, Creston is still second in the Eddie Mountain Division with 26 points, one point up on the Fernie Ghostriders and seven back of the Kimberley Dynamiters. The Thunder Cats hit the road this upcoming weekend, taking on the Columbia Valley Rockies in Invermere on Friday at 7:30 pm ahead of Saturday’s clash in Kimberley with the Dynamiters at 7:00 pm.

Fernie Ghostriders (11-6-0-3)

Having up and down weekends of late, the Fernie Ghostriders had a winning one this time around. Fernie dropped both of their games last weekend but managed to win both of their contests this past weekend, earning both wins on home ice at Fernie Memorial Arena. The Ghostriders opened up their weekend schedule against the Columbia Valley Rockies on Friday as they would claim a 6-3 lead in the second and hang on in the third period to grab the 6-5 victory. Six Ghostriders players had at least two points in the win including Johnny Elias (3A) and Nolan Steer (2G). Fernie would return to the Memorial Arena on Saturday to take on the visiting Osoyoos Coyotes, slapping the Ohlhausen Division opponent 7-1. Facing a 1-0 deficit after 20 minutes, the Ghostriders exploded to score five goals in the second period and add two more in the third to win in a blowout. Levi Young (3G) led the team with a hat-trick while Sawan Gill (3A) also had a three-point night. Between the pipes, Ethan Fitzgerald stood strong as the rookie made 25 saves for his fourth win of the season. The Ghostriders have three games on the schedule this week, battling the Nelson Leafs at Fernie Memorial Arena on Thursday at 7:30 pm before Friday and Saturday’s contests in Castlegar and Spokane.

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Columbia Valley Rockies (8-7-0-3)

The Columbia Valley Rockies split their weekend games for the third straight weekend, as they remain fourth in the Eddie Mountain Division with 19 points, just two ahead of the Golden Rockets. The Rockies kicked off their weekend in Fernie on Friday, falling 6-5 to the Ghostriders. Despite outshooting the home team 43-34, Columbia Valley couldn’t stop the offensive attack from the Ghostriders. Gavin Fleck (2G, 1A) was the standout star for the Rockies in the loss while Palmer Sinclair (2G) and Tristan Lambert (1G, 1A) also had multi-point nights. Returning home to Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena on Saturday, the Rockies got back in the win column with a 4-3 overtime victory against the North Okanagan Knights. The Knights would outshoot the Rockies 41-30 in the contest, but the Rockies stole the game. Tristan Lambert would tie the game with 2:16 remaining, setting up Jonathan Milligan’s (1G, 1A) game-winning goal in the second phase of overtime. Bretton Park would make 38 saves in the win for Columbia Valley, posting a .927 SV%. Columbia Valley will remain at home this upcoming weekend, hosting the Creston Valley Thunder Cats at 7:30 pm and the Beaver Valley Nitehawks at 7:00 pm on Friday and Saturday respectively.

Golden Rockets (8-10-1-0)

Entering on a three-game winning streak, the Golden Rockets split their matchups this past weekend, defeating the North Okanagan Knights before having the streak snapped by the Kimberley Dynamiters. Hoping to continue their momentum from weekends past, the Rockets would extend their winning streak to four games on Friday with a 4-1 win over North Okanagan. Liam Morris (2G) led the charge for the Rockets as Colton Hutchinson (1G, 1A), Dylan Ford (2A), and Dante Pietrarca (2A) also had two points in the victory. Going head-to-head with the KIJHL’s best club on Saturday brought the Rockets back to earth, although Golden would keep the game close only falling 4-3 to the Dynamiters. Tied 2-2 after the opening 20 minutes, the Dynamiters would net back-to-back goals to open the second period and would retain their lead to secure the win over the Rockets. In the loss, Ryan Baker would stop 39 of 43 shots while Connor Funke, Jacob Dewar, and Alex Johnson would all find the back of the net. Golden’s recent four-game winning streak definitely keeps the team in the playoff race early on in the season, where seasons past the team may have already been well out of the playoff picture. The Rockets are just two points behind the Columbia Valley Rockies for that final playoff spot in the Eddie Mountain Division and will look to keep pace with upcoming games against the Beaver Valley Nitehawks and Nelson Leafs. Both contests drop at 7:30 pm from Golden Arena on Friday and Saturday.

Eddie Mountain Division Standings

Kimberley Dynamiters 19 16 2 0 1 33 78 51 27 W4
Creston Valley Thunder Cats 19 11 4 0 4 26 75 66 9 W2
Fernie Ghostriders 20 11 6 0 3 25 80 65 15 W2
Columbia Valley Rockies 18 8 7 0 3 19 61 58 3 W1
Golden Rockets 19 8 10 1 0 17 64 64 0 L1
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