This weekend was a big one for the Creston bantam Bruins, who hosted their home full body-checking tournament and played four games with teams from Alberta and the U.S.A.
Friday night’s game was a barnburner against Okotoks. Creston opened the scoring with a goal from defenseman Kyle Golbeck, assisted by Jayden Gigliotti. Followed by an unassisted goal by Gigliotti, Otto Blackmore scored, assisted by Gigliotti. Then captain Isaac Janzen scored, assisted by new arrival Chris Auger.
In the dying minutes, another combo by Otto, assisted by Gigliotti, put the team to within one. Coaches Tony Mulder and Brett Van Rycksenveld pulled goalie Scott Doelman, who played one of his best games to date, and Creston started a shooting gallery on the Okotoks goalie, with Otto ringing one off the post, with many jam-in tries held off by the Okotoks goalie.
The Saturday morning game against Coeur d’Alene was hard-hitting, ending with a 6-3 loss. Goaltender Chris Mulder kept the score low by stopping a few breakaways. Scoring was started by Otto, assisted by Brendan Christianson, then Laredo Blackmore buried one, assisted by Otto and Owen Blackmore. The final goal came from Owen, assisted by Christianson and Golbeck.
Saturday afternoon’s game was against the Elk Valley combined team. The game ended 10-3 for the Elk Valley league rivals. The game was intense. Goals were scored by Otto assisted by Golbeck and two goals were recorded by Zack King, both assisted by Janzen. Some great defence was observed, with big hits from Kristi Blackmore and Abdul Samai getting the large hometown crowd into the game.
Sunday’s final game was against Okotoks. Creston started off the game with two quick goals, one by Talon Maatz assisted by Janzen and Samai, and another by Janzen, assisted by King. Then Okotoks scored twice and Creston came back with a goal from Owen assisted by Laredo and Otto, and took the lead with another goal from Owen assisted by defencemen Christianson and Golbeck, but Okotoks came back to tie the game 4-4. After the final buzzer, a shootout followed, with Okotoks getting one past the netminder, not a good way to end, but that’s hockey.
The team averaged less than eight minutes per game in penalties. The Creston Bruins usually play in a non-checking league and stepped up to play some awesome hockey and put on a great show. Family and fans wanting to follow the Bruins can do so next in the Cranbrook tournament on Feb. 3, 4 and 5.
— CRESTON VALLEY MINOR HOCKEY ASSOCIATION