The KIJHL Notebook: Teck Cup performances

The KIJHL Notebook: Teck Cup performances

March 1, 2024 at 1:45 pm  Hockey, Kamloops Storm, Sports

 

What a great start to the KIJHL Teck Cup playoffs. Nine games have gone to overtime and one double overtime. This week’s KIJHL Notebook focuses on areas of team and individual performances.

Eddie Mountain Division

The Fernie Ghostriders have themselves within a victory of advancing to the second round after their 2-1 double overtime victory against the Creston Valley Thunder Cats on Wednesday. With a 3-1 series lead, the Ghostriders have a 12-9 edge in goals – half came in a 6-5 overtime win in Game 3. This series has been so close that three of the four games have needed overtime to decide a winner. Defenceman Kaden Slobodian, named the Top Defenceman, leads the Ghostriders with four points, including three goals. Levi Hall had a 51-save shutout in Game 2. He talked about that performance on Top Shelf – The KIJHL Podcast.

 

The Creston Valley Thunder Cats find themselves down 3-1 in the series. Luke Chakrabarti, the KIJHL’s Top Scorer, leads with five points. Jacob Burnside made his series debut in Wednesday’s 2-1 loss making 39 saves for a .952 save percentage. Their power-play is 13.3 per cent – 2-for-15.  

 

 

 

The Kimberley Dynamiters – defending KIJHL Teck Cup champs – lost to the Columbia Valley Rockies in five games. They were outscored 14-8 in the series, led offensively by forward Parker Konneke and defenceman Trey Stephenson, who each had five points. Konneke, Kade Leskosky and Riley Langille each had two goals. Matt Fleet played in all the games and posted a 2.72 GAA and .909 SP.

 

Nate Glenn was excellent for the Columbia Valley Rockies in goal saving 141 of 149 shots for a 1.54 GAA and a .946 SP. He made 31 saves in Game 5 to clinch the series. Forwards Oleg Bitus and Kaelan Shelton led with four points each. Kobe Mason led with three goals. They await the winner of Fernie and Creston Valley. The Rockies’ penalty-kill is third best at 91.7 per cent – 22-for-24.

 

 

Neil Murdoch Division

The Beaver Valley Nitehawks have advanced to the divisional final after sweeping the Castlegar Rebels, outscoring them 14-7 (7-2 after Games 1 and 2).

It was a tough battle against the Rebels,” said head coach-GM Terry Jones. “It was four straight on paper, but each game had its share of difficulty, and it was a physical series with lots of injuries. As each game was tight, I really liked the composure the boys had in overtime and throughout the series.”

The edge for the Nitehawks came from their overall team depth, Jones felt.

“We got lots of contributions from each player in the lineup.”

 

Joshua Gamble led the Castlegar Rebels with four points in their series. The Rebels got seven goals from seven players. The other rookie to score was Antonio Ferrise, who played in two games. Ethan Lawczynski and Matteo Hueston split the games in goal with Lawczynski having a .920 save percentage and Hueston .917.

 

 

The Grand Forks Border Bruins have a 3-1 series lead on the Nelson Leafs and have used their league best power-play – 6-for-18 (33.3 per cent) to help build that lead. Defencemen Ben Edwards and Russell Kosec lead the Border Bruins with five points each. Levi Astill has four goals in four games. Goalie Ethan Shebansky has been strong with a 1.83 GAA and a .944 SP.

 

The Nelson Leafs are averaging two goals a game against the Border Bruins and have gone 2-for-15 on the power-play (13.3 per cent). Leighton Partington with four points and Kieran Christianson has two goals. Goalie Karl Soneff has a .930 SP as he’s allowed 11 goals on 158 shots.

 

 

 

Bill Ohlhausen Division

The Princeton Posse enter tonight with a 3-1 series lead looking to win their series against the Kelowna Chiefs. Bryton Morrow and Ty Russell lead with seven points, while goalie Blake Sittler has two wins with a 1.50 GAA and a .941 SP. Five of the Posse’s 20 goals have come on the power-play – 5-for-16 (31.3 per cent – second in the KIJHL). The Posse have allowed seven goals in the series with the tandem of Sittler and Joey Hawco combining for a 1.75 GAA and a .933 SP.

Using both goalies has really been an easy choice as they have proven to give us quality and competent goaltending when we have needed it, and both performed well down the stretch into the postseason,” said Head coach-GM Mark Readman. “It has been important to use both players as it is their first experience in playoffs and riding those ups and downs can be different than the regular season.”

On team play, Readman says when they have been on their game, they play as a unit.

Kelowna has really tried to trap these games out and keep them close, but our group has done a good job of countering and using our structure effectively to break through and ultimately let our depth shine through and be overpowering and hard to shut down.”

 

Aiden Morcom leads the Chiefs with four points, including two goals, which Matt Keylor also has. The Chiefs have scored five of their seven goals on the power-play, which is sixth best at 21.7 per cent.

 

 

 

The North Okanagan Knights won their series against the Osoyoos Coyotes in four games. The Knights outscored the Coyotes 20-7, led by Nolan Kelly with six goals and 11 points.  Josh Hager posted stellar numbers posting a 1.75 GAA and a .960 SP in four games. The Knights had the fifth best power-play – 5-for-23 (21.7 per cent) and their penalty-kill ranked the same – 22-for-25 (88 per cent).

 

The Coyotes scored seven goals with Bronson Seymor and Levi Brewer leading with three points. Seymour, Scott Dyck and Logan Messer each led with two goals. Goalie Hunter Arntsen had a .887 SP with a 4.93 GAA.

 

 

 

Doug Birks Division

The Revelstoke Grizzlies won their series against the Chase Heat in four games, with a 17-6 edge in goals. The Grizzlies won two of the four games by three goals or more. Their penalty-kill once again is the best in the league at 94.7 per cent against the Heat going 18-for-19. Grizzlies head coach Jiri Novak credited Chase for being prepared “and being a good opponent.”

“I liked how we handled that pressure,” said Novak. “For most guys, it was their first playoff experience and they realized what it means to play. I like how we played, the structure and the pace. It can give us some confidence in the second round.”

Colton McLeod and Brady Schwab led the team with four points. Louis Adler made his debut stopping 27 shots for a .964 SP. Novak said that Jozef Kuchaslo spoke with the young netminder giving him advice on how to handle the pressure. 

“It’s not easy as he didn’t play in the three games, then you go hard and play Game 4 when you can close the series,” said Novak. “It’s a lot of pressure for a young guy and he handled it really well. I like how we played.”

 

The Heat managed six goals in the four-game series, getting goals from six players. Brodie Gohmann, Kieran Strauss and Lynden Robertson each led with two points. Meyer Gaume posted a .917 SP in the four games, while Luke Roberts came in relief for a game, allowing a goal and had a .933 SP.

 

 

 

Ryan Larsen has four points in four games for the Kamloops Storm to lead the team. Of the 10 goals the Storm scored – Larsen, Nathan Bohmer, Evan Clark and Lochlan Stefanishyn each have two. Colton Phillips-Watts has played four games and has a .921 SP with a 2.41 GAA.

 

 

Ashton Angle leads the Sicamous Eagles with five points, including three goals. The Eagles have used Dylan Marshall and Gabe Bergeron in goal with Marshall posting a stingy 1.39 GAA and with a .948 SP. Bergeron has a .911 SP and is looking for his first playoff win. The Eagles own the third best power-play going 4-for-15 (26.7 per cent).

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