Kootenay Conference teams made a number of moves last week prior to the Dec. 1 carding deadline.

Kootenay Conference teams made a number of moves last week prior to the Dec. 1 carding deadline.

Kootenay Conference teams improve rosters

Creston Thunder Cats acquire league-leading scorer, while Nelson Leafs make a number of moves to improve team.

The KIJHL’s Kootenay Conference grew more competitive following the Dec. 1 roster deadline, where teams were required to cut their roster from 30 to 25 carded players.

The Beaver Valley Nitehawks made their moves late last month when they made room for 20-year-old forward Mitch Foyle of Fruitvale and sent Devin Nemes, also 20, to the Fernie Ghostriders, while adding six-foot-one, 205-pound Dylan Kent to an already deep blue line.

The Conference leading Creston Valley Thunder Cats made the biggest move on Saturday coaxing the KIJHL’s top scorer Paxton Malone from the Spokane Braves for future considerations. Malone, 19, leads the league with 17 goals and 30 assists in 30 games and will add even more offensive upside to the KIJHL’s highest scoring team, averaging almost five goals (4.9) per game.

The Creston Valley Thunder Cats also acquired the playing rights of 18-year-old defenceman Nick Darling from the Revelstoke Grizzlies in return for future considerations. Creston is also host to this year’s Cyclone Taylor Cup.

However, the Nelson Leafs seem to have made even more of an impact, after defeating the Thunder Cats on Saturday 4-2. The Leafs added former Nitehawk goalie Billy Gorn to their lineup earlier this week. Gorn joined the Hawks for a brief spell last season before moving to the Humboldt Broncos of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. But the 20-year-old puck stopper became available after being released by the Fort Frances Lakers of the Superior International Jr. Hockey League in Ontario.

“We had a couple lines on goalies, a young guy and an older guy,” Leafs GM Sean Dooley told the Nelson Star. “I think the theory was go with the older guy because of experience, and he has Junior A experience, so he’s obviously a competitor in that sense.”

Gorn started both Leafs games on the weekend, picking up consecutive 4-2 wins against Creston and Grand Forks.

In addition, the Leafs shored up its back end with the signing of six-foot-one defenceman Kyle Rosolowski from the Osoyoos Coyotes for the playing rights to former Leaf Michael Crawford.

Nelson also acquired talent up front with the addition of forwards Alex Meeker from 100 Mile House and Coeur d’Alene native Cooper Schroder who was released from the Northern Ontario junior league.

To make room on the roster, Nelson traded goalie Jason Sandhu to Kamloops, Noah Looman to the Chase Heat, utility player Charlie Wilkie to Princeton, and Kolten Nelson to Sicamous, all for future considerations.

However, a big loss for Nelson is that ot Eamonn Miller who was called up by the Opaskwayak Cree Nation Blizzard of Manitoba’s Junior Hockey League. Miller tallied four goals and 12 points for the Leafs this year and was a big presence for the Leafs in the locker room and on the ice.

“I don’t think we hit the panic button,” said Dooley. “We knew we needed the guys we brought into the lineup. They’re going to make us better no matter what. Our goal is we want to win. That’s it.”

The Leafs, literally, will be a different team the next time they face off against the Nitehawks on Dec. 31.

The Hawks meanwhile will have a heavy dose of the Castlegar Rebels and Grand Forks Border Bruins this month, playing each team three times, starting on Friday with the Bruins in Grand Forks. The Nitehawks next home game goes on Saturday when they host a more lethal Thunder Cats team at 7:30 p.m. at the B.V. Arena.

 

 

Just Posted

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

South Slocan’s Ti Loran is among the recipients of this year’s Neil Muth Memorial Scholarship. Photo: Submitted
Neil Muth Memorial Scholarships awarded to 4 students

Students in Creston, South Slocan and Revelstoke are sharing the honour

The Independent Investigations Office of BC is looking into a Castlegar incident. File photo
Police watchdog investigating Castlegar incident

IIO: Woman sustained a reportedly self-inflicted injury

A wildfire near Cottonwood Lake was put out by Nelson firefighters Sunday night. Photo: Submitted
Wildfire extinguished near Cottonwood Lake

Lightning-caused fire was near one of Nelson’s water sources

West Kootenay Regional Airport. Photo: Betsy Kline
Central Mountain Air leaving Castlegar airport in July

The airline says market can’t handle two airlines

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Most Read