The Creston Valley Thunder Cats defeated the Golden Rockets 9-7 on Tuesday, leaving the third and fourth seeds in the KIJHL’s Eddie Mountain Division up to the final two games of the regular season.
Clashing at Johnny Bucyk Arena in Creston, the Thunder Cats captured the 9-7 victory with a six-goal second period, allowing them to take a commanding 7-3 lead. Golden would make a game of it by scoring four goals of their own in the third period, but two of those goals games in the closing minutes of the contest.
Despite the victory, the Thunder Cats were outshot 47-38 by the Rockets.
Aiden Szautner scored a hat-trick for the Thunder Cats in the win, while Andrew Clark collected five assists. On the losing end, the Golden Rockets were led by Connor Funke (2G, 1A) and Bryce Trimmer (1G, 2A), who each had three points on the night.
With the victory, the Thunder Cats are now just two points back of the Columbia Valley Rockies for the third seed in the Eddie Mountain Division, potentially impacting the first-round playoff matchups.
If the playoffs were to start today, the Kimberley Dynamiters (#1) would host the Creston Valley Thunder Cats (#4) in the opening round while the Fernie Ghostriders (#2) would host the Columbia Valley Rockies (#3). Seeing as the Rockies only have a two-point advantage on the Thunder Cats with two regular season games remaining this upcoming weekend, Creston and Columbia Valley could swap first-round opponents depending on the results.
The Thunder Cats travel to the Kimberley Civic Centre on Friday to battle the Dynamiters at 7:00 pm MST, before a 7:00 pm PST matchup in Castlegar on Saturday. The Rockies host the Golden Rockets at Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena at 7:30 pm MST on Friday before heading to Fernie Memorial Arena Saturday night for a 7:30 pm MST contest with the Ghostriders.
Regardless of how the first-round playoff matchups shakedown, Kimberley, Fernie, Columbia Valley, and Creston Valley will officially open the KIJHL playoffs on Friday, February 28, 2020.
Eddie Mountain Division Standings
|zyx Kimberley Dynamiters||47||38||6||0||3||79||191||107||84||W2|
|x Fernie Ghostriders||47||31||11||2||3||67||199||139||60||W3|
|x Columbia Valley Rockies||47||22||18||2||5||51||156||143||13||L4|
|x Creston Valley Thunder Cats||47||21||19||1||6||49||160||186||-26||W1|
z = Clinched Conference, y = Clinched Divison, x = Clinched Playoffs