The days of being feasted upon by the Creston Valley Thunder Cats came to a merciful end for the Golden Rockets last night.
The Rockets took a 9-0 beating in the final meeting between the two teams this season.
The first of 8 games the two teams played in 2017-2018 started with a competitive 3-1 win for Creston on September 9, but 4-2 Thunder Cat win late in January was the only other close game in a series that included a 16-1 drubbing on December 2. The T-Cats outscored the Rockets 63-11 in regular season play.
Carson Small (Brody Ryan) started the onslaught of scoring near the halfway mark of the first period in John Bucyk Arena on Wednesday. Justen James (Liam Plunkett and Ronnie Wilkie) and Wilkie (Plunkett) put the Thunder Cats up by 3 after 20 minutes.
James scored on a penalty shot 10:38 into the second period. Bryce Sturm (Dylan Rantucci and Ryan) and Vin Jackson (Tyler Witzke and Mitchell Wolfe), with his first Junior B goal, put Creston into a 6-0 lead before the second period ended.
Wilkie (Plunkett and Jake McHee, and then Plunkett and James) scored a pair in the final frame to complete his hat-trick and Plunkett added a short-handed effort with 5 seconds left in regulation time to add the final insult to injury.
Levi Mitchell earned the shutout by stopping all 20 shots the Rockets put on him, and lowered his goals-against average to 1.80, good for the second spot among KIJHL goaltenders.
Plunkett’s 5-point night boosted his season total to 84 points. He has a 3-point lead over Wilkie and Kelowna’s Brent Witala.
The Thunder Cats take on the Fernie Ghostriders on Sparwood on Friday night, then play the Columbia Valley Rockies in Invermere on Saturday.
Regular season play comes to an end the following weekend.