The Kimberley Dynamiters have now had back to back weekends where they earned three of a possible four points. This time, the outcomes were different.
On Friday, they traveled over the Salmo-Creston Pass to play the Nelson Leafs.
The Leafs are the top team in their division, so this game lined up to be a potential Kootenay Conference Final show down.
It took until the midway point of the first for the opening goal to be scored. It was Brock Palmer scoring his 19th of the season.
In the second, the Dynamiters held on to their 1-0 lead, while peppering Nelson’s goalie, Caiden Kreitz.
For head coach and general manager Derek Stuart, the Nitros could have had more shots on net,”Kreitz is such a good goaltender that guys were trying to be a little too precise in picking small holes instead of putting pucks on net and forcing him to save them.
“If we would have hit the net, it could have been a blowout after the second period.”
As the third period continued to be a defensively contested game, and as the period entered its later half, it felt like Adam Andersen was making a bid for his third shutout of the season. But then the Leafs scored on the power play with 7:06 left.
Knotted at one, this game headed to overtime. The first overtime period began with four-on-four hockey.
As they often say, it only takes one shot. And the one and only shot during overtime was scored by Nelson.
Nelson handed the Nitros their first overtime loss of the year.
Kole Halvorson was named the Away Star of the Game, while Andersen made 16 saves in the loss.
“The game went great apart from two areas. The power play was horrible and we missed the net on 60% of our shot attempts.” Stuart said, “other than that we were fantastic.
“Defensively, it might have been our best defensive game of the year. We held them to 18 shots, and 10 of those were on the power play.
The Nitros returned home to the Civic Centre to host the Spokane Braves on Saturday.
The last time Spokane was in town, they got shelled 13-1.
Similar to Friday nights game, the objective against Spokane: shots.
In the first period, the Nitros had 19 shots on net, scoring on two of them. Palmer opened the scoring, and then Ryan Skytt scored with 25 seconds left in the period.
The Braves wouldn’t go away, and the scored 26 seconds into the second period.
Leading by example, Captain Gedny slapped the puck on net and beat the Braves goaltender.
After two periods, the Nitros led 3-1.
In the third, the Nitros kept pressing. Palmer and Gedny both scored their second goal of the game. Braiden Koran scored on the power play, while Kole Halvorson snuck in back door to bang home a rebound.
When the scoring was done, the Nitros were up 7-1.
However, the game was not done. The last three minutes produced more penalties than the previous 57 minutes of gameplay. Yet, the calls were inconsistent. For example, the last penalty of the game where a players gloves and elbow pads were scattered along the ice after a scrum: charging.
When the game finally concluded, the Nitros walked away with a win.
“It was nice to get a lot of goals,” Gedny said after the game. “Everybody was going.
“We proved to them that it was going to be a hard night coming into our rink. We did our job of sending a message, not only to them, but to the league.”
Andersen made 17 saves, while Braiden Koran (one goal, three assists), was named the Home Star of the Game.
“It’s awesome!” Koran said about getting four points in a night. “I love getting points. It’s the reason why you play, to get points and win as a team.
“It was a good bounce back game from yesterday,” Koran added. “I was glad that I could put a couple points on the board.”
The Nitros next game is Tuesday night in Golden against the Rockets.
For Gedny, the team needs to do what has been working for them, “we need to go into Golden and keep the winning ways that have been working for us.”