The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League no longer has an undefeated team. The Golden Rockets run went 4-0 before they took on the Nelson Leafs, who edged them 3-2. The Osoyoos Coyotes remain the lone team yet to lose a game in regulation.
Eddie Mountain Division
Kayde Kinaschuk is on a three-game point streak for the Columbia Valley Rockies that started on Oct. 9. During that stretch, the Calgary, Alta., native has three goals and five points. He netted the game-winner on Oct.15 and leads the club with four goals to go with an assist.
Head Coach Briar McNaney is expecting Kinaschuk to produce offense this season.
“As a whole, we are expecting them to realize their potential offensively,” says McNaney. “He could be the leader of a team with a high offensive ceiling. I think he brings a certain dynamic to our offence. His shot and elusiveness around the ice, he will contribute in many ways, besides offence. He has the ability with competitive nature and high hockey IQ to contribute in many ways.”
The Golden Rockets have won four of five games. Their game-winners have been scored by Connor Funke, Nathan Kaye, Zac Siudy, and on the weekend, Henry Loewen, whose goal was featured in Red Light Reels. Veteran Jordan Lario leads the team with five points and is tied with three teammates with three goals. Will Vernon and Aidan Ballance each have two power-play goals. The Rockets have allowed the second fewest goals against in the league at eight. Michael O’Sullivan and Levi Hall have combined for a 1.60 goals against average and .934 save percentage.
After six games, Cash Regan leads the Kimberley Dynamiters with six points, and Jack Karpyshyn has three goals. Karpyshyn, Regan and Carter Spring have the game-winners. Regan’s winner came on the power-play. Of the 16 goals that the Dynamisters have scored, nine have been in the second period.
Off-season signee Sheldon Kwiatkowski leads the Creston Valley Thunder Cats with three goals and seven points in six games. The 19-year-old has 27 games experience in the AJHL and SJHL, joining the KIJHL club from Weyburn. His three goals lead the team, while Karsten Gorrill, rookies Ethan Boutcher and Adam Redding have scored game winners.
Kort Kisinger and Ethan MacDuff lead the Fernie Ghostrider in points with four, while Kisinger shares the lead in goals at two with Tanner Chapman. Kisinger has the lone game-winner as the Ghostriders have won two games in the shootout.
Neil Murdoch Division
Hayden Stocks of the Beaver Valley Nitehawks racked up eight points over the weekend, earning the first star of the week this week. Stocks says he has found good chemistry with his teammates Judah Makway and Joel Smyth.
“It’s definitely surprising,” says Stocks of his production. “It’s been a really good start. It’s fun. I’m a playmaker and like to create offensive chances for my linemates.”
Stocks says after the first regular season he got the confidence that he can make an impact in the league.
“I kind of got a taste for it. My confidence was pretty high going into the game the next day,” he says. “I’ve just been rolling since. It’s definitely a big step up from midget hockey. The pace is really fast, it’s really physical, and there is a good mix of skill and force.”
Joe Davidson leads the Nelson Leafs with four points, all assists. Two years ago as a 16-year-old rookie, the Nelson product had 21 goals and 36 points in 43 games. Rhett Hamilton leads the club with three goals. Rookie Ethan Machan and Ryan Polvere have scored game-winners.
Griffen Ryden has the lone Castlegar Rebels game-winning goal. He leads the team with four goals and six points. After joining the Rebels from Revelstoke two seasons ago, Ryden had 16 goals and 26 points in 28 games. Jacob Moldenhauer is on Ryden’s heels with three goals.
Jackson Smith has two of the Grand Forks Border Bruins five goals. Ray Warrack leads the team with three points.
Doug Birks Division
Zakery Anderson leads the Kamloops Storm with six goals, accounting for 25 per cent of their 24 goals. Peyton Kelly and Samuel Lewis are behind him with three each. Anderson and Lewis each have two game-winners, while Cole Senum has the other.
Jacob Biensch leads the Chase Heat with nine points, and is tied with Jarod Sigouin for the lead with four goals. Defenceman Matthew Poole has six points, including two of his three goals being game-winners.
Brandon Weare has all three wins for the Revelstoke Grizzlies, and they are by shutout. The Grizzlies have given up six goals in six games. In his shutout performances, Weare has made 71 saves.
“I thought I played pretty well. I’ve got quite a bit of confidence in not only myself, but my team as well. They make it quite easy for me,” says Weare. “I have got to give them some credit on that front as well. Hopefully we can keep things going.”
With his wins all by shutout, Weare says “it’s pretty cool.”
“You don’t see that too often,” he says.
In the off-season he trained a lot to try and make himself quicker and more athletic. He feels it’s translated into this season. “I’m feeling quick, I can get the second save.”
The 100 Mile House Wranglers have eight goals in four games. Nathan Bohmer and Rory McNabb lead with three points each. Williams Lake native Jace Myers leads the team with two goals, while rookie Garth Rasmussen has their lone winner.
Hayden Fast has two of the Sicamous Eagles’ six goals. Defenceman Kingsley Brockett leads with three points. Paisen Butler scored their lone winner on Oct. 2.
Bill Ohlhausen Division
The Osoyoos Coyotes are second in the league with 33 goals. Kaleb Kremp leads with seven goals, while Ethan O’Rourke has five and Jack Henderson four. Kremp also leads with 12 points, while O’Rourke leads with three game-winners.
Rookie James Hooton is second in Kelowna Chiefs scoring with four goals and six points, including a game-winner. Chiefs head coach Travers Rebman says the Winnipeg native is playing well.
“He has a great shot and does a good job of finding space to be available,” says Rebman. “A lot of his success is coming from beating goalies off the rush from the top of the circles. You don’t see that too often.”
The Chiefs like that he is a big body (six-foot-three, 190 pounds) that can play physically to create space.
“He’s one of those guys that just looks like a player. His shot is probably his biggest asset that separates him and was noticeable in watching him,” says Rebman. “Hopefully he gets some opportunity in Junior A this year, we see him making that move up next year.”
Ethan Swift has four of the Summerland Steam’s 19 goals. The West Kelowna product also leads with 10 points. Over the weekend, Swift put up six points, including scoring the overtime winner against the Chase Heat after netting the equalizer before the buzzer. Rookie Jackson MacDonald is second with three goals. Swift leads with two game-winners, while Shawn St. Arnaud and Prezton Stewart each have one game-winner.
Anmol Garcha leads the Princeton Posse with eight points in seven games. Garcha is second in scoring with three goals, behind Jaden Fodchuk, who has four. The two have nearly half the Posse’s 19 goals. Local Curtis Gould leads their defence with four points in eight games.
“This year I am starting to show more of an offensive side,” says Gould. “I know I can do it as I’m starting to get out of my comfort zone.”
Keep an eye on the KIJHL website for a story on Gould.
Matthew Johnston and Devin Jameson lead the North Okanagan Knights with two goals and three points. Cade Enns scored a shootout winner for the Knights’ lone win.
Steve Piccolo photo