This week’s (Dec. 9-15) Hot In The KI 3 Stars are Creston Valley Thunder Cats forward Carson Small, Castlegar Rebels goalie Dawson Rattai and Osoyoos Coyotes defenceman Ryan MacDonald.
Small, a Lethbridge native, earns the first star after he scored four goals and added two assists in back-to-back wins (7-2, 8-4) over the Golden Rockets. He netted a hat-trick on home ice at Johnny Bucyk Arena, then added a goal and three points in Cranbrook.
“I felt like my line played solid both games resulting in all of us getting on the score sheet quite a bit,” says Small, a six-foot, 170 pound forward. “I feel myself and team have both had a very strong start to the second half of the season.”
Small leads the Thunder Cats in scoring with 22 goals and 43 points in 27 games. Those totals rank him fourth in the KIJHL in scoring.
Rattai, an East St. Paul, Man., native earns the second star as he played a key role in the Rebels earning back-to-back wins over the Grand Forks Border Bruins (4-2 and 4-3). Rattai was named the game star for the Rebels in two of his three games, including a 3-1 loss to the Spokane Braves earlier in the week. He turned aside 103 of 111 shots for a .927 save percentage and a 2.66 goals against average. In seven games with the Rebels, Rattai is 2-5-0 with a 3.98 GAA and .890 SPCT.
“I feel pretty solid about my performance, obviously I want a couple of those goals back, but through that I stayed confident with myself, and continue to do everything I can to help give the team a chance to win,” says Rattai. “I want to keep myself consistent day in and day out, and continue to work as hard as I can.”
MacDonald, a Nakusp native, earns the third star as he had the primary assist on the game-winning goals for the Coyotes against the Chase Heat (4-3) and Beaver Valley Nitehawks (9-3).
Against the Heat, MacDonald setup Blake Astorino’s winner on the power-play with 3:23 remaining in regulation. Against the Nitehawks, MacDonald setup Bryan Garska’s eventual winner, also on the power-play, to give the Coyotes a 4-0 lead with 2:24 remaining in the first period.
“I felt like I played really well,” says MacDonald. “I felt confident in everything I was doing, from the decisions I made without the puck and the plays I made with the puck.
“It felt great to be able to contribute offensively and help the guys get the win against two top teams in the league and get us that much closer to a playoff spot,” he continued.
MacDonald is second on the Coyotes in defenceman scoring with three goals and 15 points in 26 games.