The KIJHL is heading into its final month of the 2021-22 regular season and teams are pushing for playoff spots. This week’s KIJHL Notebook focuses on the leading goal scorer and set up player on each team as of Jan. 24 for this month.
Eddie Mountain Division
Rookie Christian Mealey and Cash Regan have been leading the way for the Kimberley Dynamiters. Mealey has eight goals in eight games, including a power-play tally, short-handed and three game-winners. He also shares the team lead in goals for the season with Austin Daniels at 17. Regan leads the Dynamiters in assists with 25 in 31 games.
“They have real good chemistry playing on the same line. Cash is the catalyst on that line and used his speed and strength a lot more this season,” said Head Coach and General Manager Derek Stuart. “Christian has learned to always be ready for the puck and he puts himself in good positions to score.”
Rookies Kaelan Shelton has four goals in four games for the Columbia Valley Rockies this month, while Reed Sparrow has four goals in six games to lead the team. Colby Phillips leads the group with seven assists in six games. Sparrow is second on the team in goals with 14, while Phillips has 33 assists. Kayde Kinaschuk leads the team and league in goals with 27.
“Kayde Kinaschuk and Colby Phillips have clearly had lots of offensive success, much of it coming against top lines and special teams,” said Head Coach Briar McNaney. “If you look at the start of the season, we were bottom three in PP% and PK%. When they started truly producing to their potential on the PP, we were able to assign and stabilize roles for other players on the team and better develop those players. Once that ball started to roll, we currently sit at No. 2 in PP% and No. 7 in PK%, and our players have thrived in their new roles and have developed as players quite nicely. Their contributions exceed more than just scoring goals.”
Kort Kisinger is the leading goal scorer for the Fernie Ghostriders with four in four games, while Ethan MacDuff has five assists in four games. Dayton Nelson leads the team with 17 goals in 26 games, while Kisinger leads in assists with 22 in 31 games.
Rookie Luke Chakrabarti, recently named the KIJHL’s Top Forward for its 3 Stars of the Week, has five goals in eight games for the Creston Valley Thunder Cats. Another rookie, Adam Redding has seven assists in eight games. Reece Nelson leads the Thunder Cats with 11 goals, while Redding leads with 19 assists.
“Luke’s a first year guy that came over in the trade with Osoyoos for Tyler Badger and he quickly made an impact on our top line and powerplay with his vision and hockey IQ,” said Assistant Coach Brandon Switzer. “Luke should be a guy that gets a lot of looks from Junior A programs for next year and if we’re lucky enough to have him back he’ll be a huge threat for us up front.”
Switzer said that Redding has had a consistent year points wise, but what stands out “is the progression in his game away from the puck.”
“He works hard every day and has turned himself into a solid two-way player.”
Rookie Will Vernon leads the Golden Rockets with four goals in eight games. Rookie defenceman Ethan Aebly leads with five assists in nine games.
“Since picking up Aebly in mid-December he has seven points in 12 games,” said Head Coach and General Manager Chuck Wight. “He has exceeded expectations with his ability to move the puck and support the play while chipping in offensively. We are very pleased with his progress since December.”
Rookies Brydon Foster leads the Rockets with 11 goals this season and Kade Cochlin leads with 12 assists.
Wight added that Jordan Lario and Cochlan are tied with six pts each in January.
“Lario has been a steady presence throughout the season and a big contributor on specialty teams,” he said. “Cochlan has moved back to his preferred position at forward and has been contributing on specialty teams as well.”
Neil Murdoch Division
Joe Davidson leads the Nelson Leafs with five goals in five games, while Lane Goodwin has six assists in five games. Davidson leads the team with 14 goals in 29 games and is tied with rookie Bryce Sookro with 17 assists.
Rookie Hunter Burgeson leads the Beaver Valley Nitehawks with six goals and is tied with three others for four assists in six games. Rookie Cooper Ross and Brennan Wilson also have four assists. Rookies Hayden Stocks leads the team with 15 goals in 33 games, while Judah Makway, who recently played for the BCHL’s Trail Smoke Eaters as an affiliate player, leads with 19 assists.
Griffen Ryden has three goals in five games for the Castlegar Rebels, while Justin Duguay leads with three assists in four games. Ryden leads the Rebels with 23 goals in 29 games and Duguay is the assist leader with 19.
Rookie Jameson Flint and Mason Buzzell have two goals in seven and six games, respectively for the Grand Forks Border Bruins. Rookie defenceman Brydon Bell leads with four assists in seven games. Matteus Reis leads the team with eight goals and Ray Warrack leads with 14 assists.
Doug Birks Division
Cole Berg has six goals in seven games for the Revelstoke Grizzlies, while Brandon Kasdorf has racked up 11 assists in seven games. Rookie Porter Trevelyan leads the team with 11 goals in 30 games, while Kasdorf leads with 17.
Rookies Evan Douglas leads the Kamloops Storm with four goals in nine games, while Kyle Sanford has six assists in nine games. Zakery Anderson leads the team with 19 goals, while defenceman Cole Senum has 18 assists.
“Our leading player offensively this season has been Zak Anderson. He’s a very talented young man who is also a very good teammate with a strong work ethic,” said Head Coach Geoff Grimwood. “He has a great release and has confidence in his ability to find the net from anywhere. He has been a really big part of our team this year and has been called up with Salmon Arm in the BCHL and has scored a goal. For me, he has shown he will be able to score at the next level and has a bright future.”
Rookie Lucas Ouellette has four goals for the Chase Heat and defenceman Matthew Poole has collected six assists in seven games. Jacob Biensch leads the team in goals with 15 and assists, 21.
“Both of them are skilled,” said Head Coach Brad Fox of Ouellette and Poole. “Both of them are talented and are intelligent hockey players, and they have a huge upside in how they play the game. I think what’s happened here progressively over the last month, since the Christmas break, they have taken on a little more responsibility of leading in what their potential is. In being effective.”
Rookies Dmitry Dyskin and Alex Smith lead the Sicamous Eagles with six goals in eight games this month, while Hayden Fast has seven assists in 10 games.
“Dyskin has gone from apples to ginos as he had two goals and 12 assists in 2021 and has now added six goals and two assists in 8 games so far in 2022,” said Assistant General Manager and Assistant Coach Rob Sutherland, adding that Smith continued to put the puck in the back of the net. “Fast continues to be heavily involved in the points with three goals and seven assists over eight games as he shows to be a key player. The team has been responding well to the new coaching staff and we’ve seen better puck movement with a higher level of player accountability.”
The 100 Mile House Wranglers have eight players who have scored a goal. Reid Stumpf has three assists in seven games. Captain Ethan Sanders leads the team with seven goals, while Stumpf has eight assists. The Wranglers had their leading goal scorer Nathan Bohmer, advance to the BCHL with the Coquitlam Express, while assist leader Chase Vancoughnett-Lafleur was traded on Jan. 9.
Bill Ohlhausen Division
Jack Henderson has six goals for the Osoyoos Coyotes, while Tegan Neuman has seven assists. Kaleb Kremp leads the team with 23 goals in 33 games, which ranks him second in the KIJHL. Henderson has 29 assists.
“He is playing a lot more engaged, he’s creating chances because he’s moving his feet, he’s playing the body,” said Head Coach Carter Rigby of Henderson. “He is caring about the defensive game a lot more than he has in the past. When you work, you want the puck, good things are going to happen. He has got a great skill set around him as well. He has got good hands, skates well and a good shot. It helps playing with good players too.”
Rigby added that Henderson wants to be the go-to guy and to be counted on.
“He wants to go for that scoring title, which is great,” he added.
Since joining the Coyotes, Neuman has found himself playing on the first to third line.
“He’s a kid with a great set of hands and vision on the ice that is finding the open guys,” said Rigby. “He works and deserves a lot of the chances that he gets. Sometimes when you’re struggling offensively in the goal sense, you have got to add a different element to your game. He’s a great passer and works hard and to play with good players that can finish too, makes the game a lot easier for players.”
James Hooton, Jordan Lowry and Levi Lamotte each have two goals for the Kelowna Chiefs, while Ty Marchant and Spencer Horning have three assists.Patrick Reynolds leads the team with 14 goals in 22 games, while Horning has 20 assists.
Grayson Chell has six goals for the Summerland Steam, while Jackson MacDonald has five assists. Chell leads the team with 18 goals and Tristan Weill has 21 assists.
Kyle Bax has four goals for the North Okanagan Knights, while Ty McNaughton has six assists. Matthew Johnson leads the team with 11 goals, while Devin Jameson has a team-leading 18 assists.
Colby Chavez Leech has three goals for the Princeton Posse, while Lucas Sadownyk has five assists. Sadownyk was named the KIJHL’s Top Defenceman for the 3 Stars of the Week.
“Chevy has been steady and consistent this month, had a huge game against Osoyoos to start the calendar year off strong,” said Head Coach Mark Readman. “Lou has been a nice contributor from the back end on the offensive side and the bounces have been going his way lately. His play has steadily been getting better as the year has gone on, and for his style of play, the offensive contributions were bound to come along and it attests to the work he has been putting in since the beginning of the season.”