KIJHL Notebook: Stellar playoff performers

The second round of the KIJHL Teck Cup championships has continued, if not raised how good the play has been. There have been impressive performances offensively and defensively, especially in goal. The defending KIJHL champion Revelstoke Grizzlies are waiting to see who they will play between the Princeton Posse and North Okanagan Knights in the Okanagan Conference Final. Meanwhile three other series’ could be decided on Friday.

Let’s dig more into each team, and how players have performed in this week’s Notebook.


In their first three games, the Kimberley Dynamiters scored seven goals against the Fernie Ghostriders as they were shutout in Game 1. They avoided elimination in Game 4 with an 8-2 win. Christian Mealey leads the Dynamiters with three goals and nine points in the series, while Cambell McLean has two goals and five points. Cash Regan is the other Dynamiter with two goals. Goalie Trystan Self has the lone win with a 3.47 goals against average and an .882 save percentage.
Aiden Kruhlak has been strong in goal for the Ghostriders with three wins and a loss. He has one shutout to go with a 2.45 GAA and a .923 SP. The Ghostriders are receiving a balanced offensive attack against the Dynamiters as 12 players have collected a point. Ethan MacDuff and Kort Kisinger lead with five points, with MacDuff and Liam Fitzgerald lead with three goals each. The Ghostriders will be looking to advance to the Kootenay Conference Final with a win Friday in Kimberley, where they won the first two games of the series.
The Beaver Valley Nitehawks will be playing to keep their season alive on Friday after falling behind 3-1 to the Creston Valley Thunder Cats following a 6-5 triple overtime loss on Wednesday.  The Nitehawks received stellar goaltending from Connor Stojan, who stopped 90 of 96 shots. His play allowed the Nitehawks to erase a 5-2 Thunder Cats lead and push the game into overtime. Nathan Dominici, Kaleb Percival and Ollie Clement are tied with five points each to lead the Nitehawks. Clement leads with three goals. With a win in three games, Stojan has a 2.53 GAA and a .940 SP.
Stavros Koutsantonis scored a massive goal for the Creston Valley Thunder Cats in triple overtime for a 6-5 win over the Nitehawks on Wednesday. Head Coach Brad Tobin praised both goalies for their performances.

“Both played extremely well and made big saves throughout the night,” said Tobin.

With a three goal lead in hand late into the third, Tobin said his group got a little too comfortable. 

“We started sitting back instead of keeping up the pressure. We dug down and I thought carried most of the play throughout the overtime periods,” said Tobin. “It was definitely a big win for the group, but it’s also a good reminder that you have to play every shift like it’s your last until the final whistle. We’ve got a confident group right now that are all buying in and playing their roles.”

Burnside made 64-saves in the win and for the series has two victories with a 2.36 GAA and a .925 SP. Luke Chakrabarti has been on an offensive tear in the series with five goals and five assists. Blake Anderson is behind him with three goals and five assists.

The Revelstoke Grizzlies swept their second straight series and will play for the Okanagan Conference championship after defeating the Sicamous Eagles in four.  The final two games needed overtime to be decided with the Grizzlies clinching the series with a 2-1 decision. Jake Wallace scored the winning goal and led the Grizzlies with three goals and three assists. Carter Bettenson had five points in four games and David Coyle had four points in four. Jozef Kuchaslo started three of the four games and had a 2.00 GAA and a .922 SP. Owen Albers stopped 30 of 31 shots in his lone win.
The Princeton Posse will be looking to advance to the Okanagan Conference Final with a win over the North Okanagan Knights on Friday. Peyton Trzaska has won all their games with a shutout for a 1.65 GAA and a .945 SP. Dayton Nelson leads the Posse with eight points, while Brayden Bablitz has seven and leads with five goals. Their series returns to Princeton, where the Posse won the opening two games.
The North Okanagan Knights will be looking to keep their season alive with a win on Friday against the Posse, as they trail 3-1. After generating just five goals in the first three games, the Knights defeated the Posse 7-2 in Game 4. Kevin-Thomas Walters and Devin Jameson lead the Knights with six points, though Jameson has played one less game. Jameson also has the lead in goals with three. The Knights turned to Josh Hager in Game 4 and he stopped 38 of 40 shots. In two games, Hager has a 3.24 GAA and a.920 SP.