The Creston Valley Thunder Cats couldn’t make a 4-goal lead standup on Tuesday night, and eventually lost 5-4 in overtime at home to division nemesis Kimberley Dynamiters.
A strong second period, with more great production from the Liam Plunkett-Ronnie Wilkie-Justen James line, had the crowd of more than 300 looking forward to another blowout, but it wasn’t to be.
After a scoreless opening period, Tyler Witzke (Brodie Ryan and Dylan Rantucci) put the Cats on the board 4 minutes into the game, and Wilkie (Jack McArdle and Plunkett) followed 2:32 later with a power play effort. Wilkie (Plunkett and James) and James (Plunkett) stretched the lead to 4-0 but that would be the last time the Thunder Cats would trigger the red goal light.
Brandt Bertoia finally put Kimberley on the scoreboard with 2:21 left in the second period, and the home team skated off with reason to feel confident after 40 minutes.
Two goals in the first 2 minutes of third period play by the Dynamiters turned the tide of the game though. Bryce Mcdonald and Derian Bamber narrowed the game to 4-3. Mason Palaga put a dagger into the home side when he scored with 9 seconds remaining in regulation and the Kimberley goaltender sitting on the bench.
Kimberley outshot Creston 7-2 in extra time, but it was not until there was 1 minute remaining in the second overtime period before Brock Palmer made the visitors the winner.
Wilkie was named the Home Star and the Away Star went to Bertoia.
With the overtime loss, the Thunder Cats, who were outshot 38-28, fell 7 points behind Kimberley for top place in the Eddie Mountain Division.
On the bright side, Plunkett’s 3-point effort vaulted him past the Chase Heat’s Josh Bourne for first place in league scoring, and he has 47 points on 15 goals and 32 assists. Ronnie Wilkie sits alone in third place, with 44 points. James’ 39 points has him a tie for 10th spot.
The Thunder Cats host the Fernie Ghostriders on Friday night, then hit the road on Saturday for Kimberley and a chance to avenge the overtime loss.