The Eddie Mountain Division has two of the best teams in the KIJHL as the Kimberley Dynamiters are well out front as the league leader while the Fernie Ghostriders’ recent seven-game winning streak now puts them just one point back of second place in the entire league.
Kimberley Dynamiters (31-4-0-2)
After losing two of their last three games, the Kimberley Dynamiters returned to winning form this weekend, earning a 5-4 victory over the Columbia Valley Rockies on Friday and a 3-2 overtime win against the Golden Rockets on Saturday. Kimberley opened their weekend in Invermere against the Rockies, building up a 4-0 lead in the opening period and never looking back, eventually fending off a late comeback attempt by Columbia Valley to take the 5-4 win. Cam Russell (1G, 2A) led Kimberley with three points in the win while Carter Spring, Dan Graber, and Jed Butler all had one goal and one assist. The next night, the Dynamiters returned home to the Kimberley Civic Centre to host the Rockets, squeezing out a 3-2 win in overtime. Down 2-1 after 20 minutes, Mitch Fargey would tie the game for Kimberley midway through the third period, eventually forcing overtime where Brock Palmer (1G, 1A) would score the game-winner and tie himself with Jared Marchi as the Kimberley Dynamiters all-time leading scorer. Palmer (89G, 125A) has 214 points in 129 career games, which is tied with Marchi’s (97G, 117A) totals although in Marchi played 228 games for Kimberley in his career. The 20-year-old will have a chance at history this upcoming weekend as the Dynamiters travel for a two-game road trip, battling the Nelson Leafs on Friday at 7:00 pm from the Nelson Community Complex before Saturday’s 3:00 pm matchup at Cominco Arena in Trail against the Beaver Valley Nitehawks.
Fernie Ghostriders (24-10-1-3)
The Fernie Ghostriders are the hottest team in the entire KIJHL following a dominant performance this past weekend, sweeping their weekend slate of games to stretch their winning streak to seven games. Kicking off their weekend on the road, the Fernie Ghostriders downed the Sicamous Eagles 8-2 on Friday before a 4-1 victory over the Revelstoke Grizzlies on Saturday. The Ghostriders returned to Fernie Memorial Arena on Sunday, earning a 4-3 win in overtime against the Spokane Braves. Seamus Keith led Fernie with Friday’s win over Sicamous with a four-point game which included a hat-trick, Jordon Kromm had a goal and an assist in Saturday’s victory against Revelstoke, while Keith, Johnny Elias, and Gavin Lawrie all had two-point nights in the overtime win over Spokane. Over the weekend, Keith (4G, 2A), Kromm (3G, 2A), and Elias (2G, 3A) were the offensive leaders. Between the pipes, Ethan Fitzgerald posted a .933 SV% stopping 70 of 75 shots in two games while newcomer Brett Balas turned aside 49 of the 50 shots he faced on Saturday for his first win in the KIJHL and as a Ghostrider after spending last season in the AJHL with the Calgary Canucks. Fernie will look to extend their seven-game streak this coming weekend as they host the Creston Valley Thunder Cats at 7:30 pm Friday from Fernie Memorial Arena in their only matchup of the weekend.
Columbia Valley Rockies (18-13-2-4)
Earning points in nine of their last 10 games, the Columbia Valley Rockies ran into a roadblock this weekend, dropping both of their decisions to the Kimberley Dynamiters and Spokane Braves. The Rockies opened their weekend with a 5-4 loss to Kimberley at Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena, although Columbia Valley did fight to end in Invermere. Facing a large 4-0 deficit after the opening 20 minutes, the Rockies clawed back into the game with two goals in the second. The Dynamiters would open the third period with a goal, but the Rockies would still manage to score two more goals before the end of the contest in their bid for a comeback, but ultimately fell 5-4. Alex Novakowski (2G) was the team leader alongside Tristan Lambert (2A) and Jonathan Milligan (2A) in the loss. Hoping to rebound on Saturday, the Rockies would fall 5-2 to the Spokane Braves for their second straight loss on home ice. Despite throwing 46 shots on goal, the Rockies only found the back of the net twice as Colby Phillips and Zachery Dovichak were the only players to solve Spokane netminder Austin Madge. The Rockies now get set for a two-game road trip on Friday and Saturday as they travel to Chase and Sicamous to battle the Heat and Eagles from the Okanagan/Shuswap Conference’s Doug Birks Division.
Creston Valley Thunder Cats (15-14-0-5)
The past number of weekends have not been pretty for the Creston Valley Thunder Cats, as the team dropped their only game of the weekend to stretch their losing slide to six games. At home at Johnny Bucyk Arena on Saturday, the Thunder Cats were blown out 6-1 by the visiting Beaver Valley Nitehawks. Surrendering two goals in each period, Logan Berggren would score the final goal of the game, and the only goal of the game for the Thunder Cats while five Nitehawks players posted multi-point evenings on the scoresheet. Justin Faiella got the start for Creston in goal, allowing all six goals on 25 shots. Creston will attempt the right the ship as they prepare for a split weekend. Travelling to Fernie on Friday, the Thunder Cats and Ghostriders tangle at 7:30 pm from Fernie Memorial Arena before a 7:30 pm back in Creston at Johnny Bucyk Arena against the visiting Grand Forks Border Bruins.
Golden Rockets (13-18-1-2)
The Golden Rockets picked up three points as they continue to chase down the Creston Valley Thunder Cats for the final playoff spot in the Eddie Mountain Division. Six points back of the playoffs, the Rockets earned a win and took the Kimberley Dynamiters to overtime to muscle out three of a possible four points. In their long-awaited return to the Plywood Palace after more than a month of home games in Cranbrook, the Rockets earned a 4-3 win over the Spokane Braves Friday at Golden Arena. Despite being outshot 50-36, the Rockets were effective on offence, as Liam Morris scored the game-winner midway through the third period on the power play. Eight different Rockets players found the scoresheet as Colton Hutchinson (1G, 1A) and Jaden Callan (2A) were the team leaders alongside Ryan Baker, who made 47 saves to steal the win for Golden. The Rockets then travelled to Kimberley on Saturday for another matchup with the Dynamiters at the Civic Centre. Liam Morris (1G, 1A) and Chase Fischer would give the Rockets an early 2-1 lead in the first, but Kimberley would eventually tie the game in the third before Brock Palmer netted the game-winner for the Dynamiters in the second overtime period. Ryan Baker was once again terrific for the Rockets despite the loss, turning aside 41 of 44 shots to help Golden earn their single point. The Rockets now gear up for a busy three-game weekend on the road that will take them to Grand Forks, Castlegar, and Spokane on a swing through the Neil Murdoch Division Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Eddie Mountain Division Standings:
|Columbia Valley Rockies||37||18||13||2||4||42||128||112||16||L2|
|Creston Valley Thunder Cats||34||15||14||0||5||35||116||129||-13||L6|