The Kimberley Dynamiters own the best record in the KIJHL after a pair of shutouts this weekend, while the Fernie Ghostriders continue their climb up the Eddie Mountain Division Standings with back-to-back victories.
Kimberley Dynamiters (18-2-0-1)
Kimberley made a statement this weekend, shutting out both the Nelson Leafs and the Creston Valley Thunder Cats to now lead the KIJHL with the best record. Following this weekend’s games at the Kimberley Civic Centre, the Dynamiters have 37 points through 21 games, three points ahead of the Kelowna Chiefs and now four points ahead of both the Nelson Leafs and Revelstoke Grizzlies. Entering Friday’s matchup with Nelson, both clubs were tied with 33 points but Kimberley would snuff out any speculation of who should be leading the KIJHL, blanking the Leafs 5-0. Blake Pilon would make 24 saves for his first shutout of the season while Cam Russell (1G, 3A) led the team offensively. Kimberley would return to the Civic Centre on Saturday to shutout the Thunder Cats 4-0. Brock Palmer (3G, 1A) netted a hat-trick in the victory as Ryan Piva (3A) had three points, while Adam Andersen made 20 saves for the shutout. Andersen’s shutout was his first this season and the fourth of his KIJHL career. Now riding a six-game winning streak, Kimberley is back in action on Tuesday against the Golden Rockets at 7:00 pm from the Civic Centre. The Dynamiters then split their time this upcoming weekend, hitting the road on Friday to take on the Beaver Valley Nitehawks in Fruitvale before a 7:00 pm matchup back in Kimberley on Saturday against the Columbia Valley Rockies.
Fernie Ghostriders (14-6-0-3)
The Fernie Ghostriders remain red hot in the KIJHL, winning all three games this past week to extend their winning streak to five games. Fernie had an early start to their weekend with a matchup against the Nelson Leafs on Thursday at Fernie Memorial Arena. The Ghostriders defeated Nelson 6-4 as Dylan Defosse (2G, 1A), Gavin Lawrie (3A), and Jordon Kromm (2G) all led the team to victory despite being outshot 48-33. On Friday and Saturday, the Ghostriders would take to the road with games in Castlegar and Spokane. Despite the long travel, Fernie would maintain their energy and defeat the Rebels and the Braves, earning 7-4 and 8-3 victories to stretch their winning streak. Jaden Little would make 49 saves in Friday’s victory over Castlegar while Chance Griffith made 47 stops on Saturday. Both netminders were major factors in Fernie’s wins as they Ghostriders were outshot 53-31 in Castlegar and 50-46 in Spokane. Dylan Defosse (1G, 5A), Aaron Hladiuk (2G, 3A), and Gavin Lawrie (2G, 3A) were the offensive leaders for the Ghostriders on their two-game swing. Fernie is now six points back of the Eddie Mountain Division and KIJHL leading Kimberley Dynamiters as they will look to keep their momentum rolling in hopes of catching up to their division rival. The Ghostriders have just one game this upcoming weekend, as they are set to host the Grand Forks Border Bruins at 7:30 pm on Saturday at Fernie Memorial Arena.
Creston Valley Thunder Cats (11-6-0-4)
Away from Johnny Bucyk this past weekend, the Creston Valley Thunder Cats struggled as the team dropped both of their games to the Columbia Valley Rockies and Kimberley Dynamiters. Playing nine of their last 10 games at home, Creston lost both games on the road. Columbia Valley bested the Thunder Cats 5-1 on Friday in Invermere as the Rockies would score four unanswered goals in the second and third periods to take the win. Spencer Dorge scored the only goal for Creston in the loss while Sylvin Menard stopped 40 of 45 shots. Creston would then get shutout on Saturday, falling 4-0 to the Dynamiters. Menard would make 20 saves in the loss as the Thunder Cats failed to solve Kimberley’s Adam Andersen. Now on a two-game slide, the Thunder Cats get ready for a three-game road trip. Beginning in Chase on Friday, Creston will then head into Revelstoke on Saturday and close out their weekend on Sunday against the Sicamous Eagles.
Columbia Valley Rockies (9-7-0-4)
For the fourth straight weekend, the Columbia Valley Rockies split their games, winning one game and losing the other. Playing both games at Invermere’s Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena, the Rockies opened up their weekend with a 5-1 victory over the Creston Valley Thunder Cats on Friday. Outshooting Creston 45-35, the Rockies would score four unanswered goals in the second and third periods to take the win as Palmer Sinclair (3G) netted a hat trick in the victory while Hunter Beckett (1G, 2A) also finished with three points. Bretton Park had a strong game between the pipes, making 34 saves to win his fifth game of the season. Battling the Beaver Valley Nitehawks on Saturday, the Rockies almost grabbed another victory but would fall 2-1 in overtime. Both teams would score in the opening period as Khale Skinner found the back of the net for Columbia Valley, but the next two periods were scoreless to force overtime. In the second overtime period, Bradley Ross would score for the Nitehawks to steal the game 2-1. Casey James Thomson was solid in goal for the Rockies, making 41 saves in the loss as he attempted to keep Columbia Valley in the game. One point ahead of the Golden Rockets in the Eddie Mountain Division Standings and holding on to the final playoff spot, the Rockies will host the Grand Forks Border Bruins at 7:30 pm on Friday at Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena in Invermere before Saturday’s contest in Kimberley against the Dynamiters at 7:00 pm.
Golden Rockets (10-10-1-0)
The Golden Rockets got a shot of confidence by earning two major victories over the Neil Murdoch Division’s top two teams. Setting up shop at Golden Arena, the Rockets faced off with the Beaver Valley Nitehawks (14-3-1-3) and Nelson Leafs (15-6-0-3) on Friday and Saturday. Golden would stun the Nitehawks with a 5-4 overtime victory to open up their weekend. Leading 4-2 after netting a power play goal midway through the third, the Nitehawks would score back-to-back goals to force overtime but Golden would get the game-winner Evan Agnus while shorthanded in the second overtime period. Evan Angus (1G, 1A), Dante Pietrarca (2A), and Alex Johnson (2A) were the team leaders in the dramatic win. Following Friday’s fervourous contest, Golden would take down the Nelson Leafs, a team that entered the weekend leading the entire KIJHL alongside the Kimberley Dynamiters. Golden defeated the Leafs 5-3, scoring three goals late in the third to seal the win. Dante Pietrarca would score the game-tying goal on the power play with 9:23 remaining before Bryce Trimmer’s (1G, 1A) game-winning goal with 4:49 left on the clock. Liam Morris would add an empty-net goal in garbage time to lock up the 5-3 win for the Rockets as Brandon Weare made 31 saves to improve to 7-3 in 10 games this season. Golden once again has a tough test in front of them as they match up with the Kimberley Dynamiters on Tuesday. That contest drops at 7:00 pm from the Kimberley Civic Centre. The Rockets then have just one game over the weekend, hosting the Osoyoos Coyotes at Golden Arena at 7:30 pm.
Eddie Mountain Division Standings
|Creston Valley Thunder Cats||21||11||6||0||4||26||76||75||1||L2|
|Columbia Valley Rockies||20||9||7||0||4||22||67||61||6||L1|