KIJHL playoffs begin tonight
All three of the East Kootenay’s junior B teams are heading to the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) playoffs, starting tomorrow night (Feb. 23).
The first place Kimberley Dynamiters are taking on the fourth place Fernie Ghostriders, while the second place Creston Valley Thunder Cats are taking on the third place Columbia Valley Rockies.
The first games in the best-of-seven semi-finals take place tomorrow night in Kimberley and Creston, with games two taking place Wednesday evening. The series shift to Fernie and Invermere for games three and four on Feb. 26 and 27.
The Riders and Rockies are in tough in their Eddie Mountain Division series as the Dynamiters and Thunder Cats were ranked first and third overall in the Kootenay Conference at the end of the regular season.
The defending champion Nitros edged the Osoyoos Coyotes by two points for first overall in the league on the strength of a 41 win, seven loss regular season record, with a whopping plus 102 goal differential. The Nitros’ 109 goals against in 52 games was second best in the league, behind the Coyotes’ 93 goals against. The Coyotes also posted the best goals differential in the league with a plus 131, paced along by scoring champion Rainer Glimpel’s 30 goals and 55 helpers in 52 games.
Rockies’ forward Michael Cardinal finished second in scoring with 33 goals and 45 assists.
See the league’s playoff bracket.