This week’s (Nov. 25 to Dec. 1) Hot In The KI 3 Stars are Kimberley Dynamiters forward Brock Palmer, Princeton Posse goalie Jaysen MacLean and Chase Heat defenceman Cam Watson.
Palmer, of Coaldale, Alta., earns the first star as he racked up nine points in Dynamiter victories over Golden (5-3), Beaver Valley (6-1) and Columbia Valley (5-3). Palmer netted three goals and finished with five points against the Golden Rockets. He assisted on Ryan Piva’s winner 5:56 into the third period. Palmer opened the scoring at 5:47 into the first and about six minutes later gave the Dynamiters a 2-0 lead after one period. Against the Beaver Valley Nitehawks, Palmer collected three assists. He set up John Usselman’s opening goal and helped his team build 3-0 and 4-0 leads. Against the Columbia Valley Rockies, Palmer assisted on Jett Saharchuck’s goal to tie the game at three.
“I thought me and my line (Piva and Saharchuk) played very well and it was awesome for our line to get rolling,” says Palmer. “It’s a lot of fun playing with those guys.
“I am happy with my play, but need to make a few minor adjustments to be completely satisfied before playoffs begin,” continued Palmer.
Palmer leads the KIJHL in scoring with 28 goals and 59 points in 24 games.
MacLean, of Port Alberni, earns the second star as he led the Posse to back-to-back wins over the North Okanagan Knights (4-1) and Summerland Steam (6-3). Against the Knights, MacLean turned aside 19 of 20 shots. Against the Steam, he earned the game star as he stopped 36 of 39 shots. In total, MacLean stopped 54 of 59 shots for a 2.00 goals against average and .932 save percentage.
“I thought I played solid overall. My teammates did the work up the ice and especially in our defensive zone making my job as easy as it could be,” says MacLean. “I think I’ve been a bit up and down to start the season, but the last month I have started to find my footing and put in more consistent efforts. It helps when everyone has been playing well in front of me.”
In 18 games this season, MacLean is 6-10-1 with a 3.21 GAA and .903 save percentage.
Watson, a Salmon Arm native, earns the third star for scoring two goals and adding an assist in two games. Against the Creston Valley Thunder Cats, Watson assisted on Colton Nikiforuk’s 3-0 goal in a 4-0 win. In a 4-3 win over 100 Mile House Wranglers, Watson opened the scoring a minute into the match, then netted the winner with 50 seconds remaining.
“Cam has been an outstanding leader for our group as the captain in his on and off-the-ice contributions,” says Heat coach Brad Fox. “He is an excellent example that his peers follow through his lead by example presence. He holds himself accountable in his preparation to set a standard of what we call, ‘Do the Work.’ Our players feed off this standard to support his leadership every day.”
In 25 games, Watson has seven goals and 21 points. He is second in the KIJHL in defencemen scoring.