Ghostrider goalie third star of the week in KIJHL
Fernie Ghostriders goalie Brett Balas earned the third star in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s (KIJHL) Hot In KI 3 Stars spotlight for his stingy work in the past week.
Balas picked up wins against Spokane Braves and Columbia Valley Rockies, turning aside 77 of 81 shots. He had a 1.88 goals against average with a .950 save percentage.
“I felt I played the puck well and was positionally sound. My team made this easy by playing within our structure in all zones and communicating with each other. Both wins were a product of playing within our system and playing as a unit,” said Balas. “I feel like I have played well since coming to Fernie. The guys and coaches have made it very easy to adjust to the team and have made me comfortable on and off the ice.”
In seven games with the Ghostriders, the Calgary product has five wins with 2.75 goals against average and .930 save percentage.
Scoring back-to-back game-winning goals helped Kamloops Storm forward Chris Thon net the first star this week.
Along with having a winning touch, Thon enjoyed three-point performances in wins against Sicamous (4-1 on Feb. 14) and North Okanagan (5-3 on Feb. 16).
“I felt that I played pretty well in both games,” says Thon, a Quesnel native in his third season with the Storm. “I like to keep my game simple and do what the team needs me to do for us to win. I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time and my teammates made great plays to help me score goals in both of our games.”
Thon says it’s always a great feeling to score, regardless of how many or when they come.
“It’s just nice to know that the goals that I scored helped us to secure a playoff spot and get ready for the first round of the playoffs,” he says.
Thon is third in the Storm in scoring with 21 goals and 34 points in 35 games.
Wranglers forward Khale Skinner earned the second star with seven points in three games.
Skinner kicked off the week with a hat trick and four points in a 6-1 win over the Revelstoke Grizzlies on Feb. 11. He was named the Wranglers game star. Skinner then added two more points in two games against Revelstoke and the North Okanagan Knights.
“I thought I played a big role helping our team get a couple of big wins,” says Skinner, of Sylvan Lake, Alta. “It was exciting putting up a hat trick against Revelstoke in our win against them.
Skinner is second on the Wranglers in scoring with 23 goals and 42 points in 35 games. Since joining the 100 Mile House Wranglers from Columbia Valley, Skinner has 13 goals and 18 points in 11 games.