January points leaders in the Eddie
By Emanuel Sequeira
The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) is heading into its final month of the 2021-22 regular season and teams are pushing for playoff spots.
This week’s KIJHL Notebook focuses on the leading goal scorer and set up player on each team in the Eddie Mountain Division as of Jan. 24.
Eddie Mountain Division
Rookie Christian Mealey and Cash Regan have been leading the way for the Kimberley Dynamiters. Mealey has eight goals in eight games, including a power-play tally, short-handed and three game-winners. He also shares the team lead in goals for the season with Austin Daniels at 17. Regan leads the Dynamiters in assists with 25 in 31 games.
“They have real good chemistry playing on the same line. Cash is the catalyst on that line and used his speed and strength a lot more this season,” said head coach and general manager Derek Stuart. “Christian has learned to always be ready for the puck and he puts himself in good positions to score.”
Rookies Kaelan Shelton has four goals in four games for the Columbia Valley Rockies this month, while Reed Sparrow has four goals in six games to lead the team. Colby Phillips leads the group with seven assists in six games. Sparrow is second on the team in goals with 14, while Phillips has 33 assists. Kayde Kinaschuk leads the team and league in goals with 27.
“Kayde Kinaschuk and Colby Phillips have clearly had lots of offensive success, much of it coming against top lines and special teams,” said head coach Briar McNaney. “If you look at the start of the season, we were bottom three in PP% and PK%. When they started truly producing to their potential on the PP, we were able to assign and stabilize roles for other players on the team and better develop those players. Once that ball started to roll, we currently sit at No. two in PP% and No. seven in PK%, and our players have thrived in their new roles and have developed as players quite nicely. Their contributions exceed more than just scoring goals.”
Kort Kisinger is the leading goal scorer for the Fernie Ghostriders with four in four games, while Ethan MacDuff has five assists in four games. Dayton Nelson leads the team with 17 goals in 26 games, while Kisinger leads in assists with 22 in 31 games.
Creston Valley Thunder Cats
Rookie Luke Chakrabarti, recently named the KIJHL’s Top Forward for its 3 Stars of the Week, has five goals in eight games for the Creston Valley Thunder Cats. Another rookie, Adam Redding has seven assists in eight games. Reece Nelson leads the Thunder Cats with 11 goals, while Redding leads with 19 assists.
“Luke’s a first year guy that came over in the trade with Osoyoos for Tyler Badger and he quickly made an impact on our top line and powerplay with his vision and hockey IQ,” said assistant coach Brandon Switzer. “Luke should be a guy that gets a lot of looks from Junior A programs for next year and if we’re lucky enough to have him back he’ll be a huge threat for us up front.”
Switzer said that Redding has had a consistent year points wise, but what stands out “is the progression in his game away from the puck.”
“He works hard every day and has turned himself into a solid two-way player.”
Rookie Will Vernon leads the Golden Rockets with four goals in eight games. Rookie defenceman Ethan Aebly leads with five assists in nine games.
“Since picking up Aebly in mid-December he has seven points in 12 games,” said head coach and general manager Chuck Wight. “He has exceeded expectations with his ability to move the puck and support the play while chipping in offensively. We are very pleased with his progress since December.”
Rookies Brydon Foster leads the Rockets with 11 goals this season and Kade Cochlin leads with 12 assists.
Wight added that Jordan Lario and Cochlan are tied with six points each in January.
“Lario has been a steady presence throughout the season and a big contributor on specialty teams,” he said. “Cochlan has moved back to his preferred position at forward and has been contributing on specialty teams as well.”
Image courtesy KIJHL