The Kimberley Dynamiters made a statement this past weekend as they downed the Beaver Valley Nitehawks and the Nelson Leafs in their own barns.
Keegan McDowell opened the scoring for the Nitros in Fruitvale, more on him later.
Mitch Fargey scored his second of the season, tying his KIJHL career high, to give the Nitros a 2-0 in the first.
“We had a really great start heading into Beaver Valley,” Head coach and general manager Derek Stuart said, “that was one of our focuses heading into the game.”
The Dynamiters lost an edge in the second after Erik Delaire scored on the power play to make it 3-0. Former Nitro Luke Recchi scored, and moments later the Nitehawks got their second.
After 40 minutes, the Nitros held on to a one goal lead.
“We told them before the game, that if we would have been given a one goal lead heading into the third in that arena, we would have taken it,” Stuart said. “We needed to make sure our third period was the best.”
Brock Palmer scored 55 seconds into the third to give the Nitros a two goal lead.
As the third went on, the Nitros painted themselves into a corner as they took penalty after penalty, at one point giving the Nitehawks a 5-on-3.
The Nitros held on, and McDowell scored an empty net goal.
“It was nice.” McDowell said about scoring his second goal. “That just sealed the game off.”
Brett Anderson made 25 saves in the win, while McDowell was named the star of the game with his three points.
For Stuart, Lucas Chilton also stood out for his physical play and dominating the corners.
The Nitros night wasn’t done. They had bus issues starting which delayed them getting to their hotel three hours late.
Next up was Nelson, the top team in the Kootenay Conference.
The first period was defense, physical, and scoreless.
“We played excellent,” Stuart said. “It was a complete team game. We initiated the physical side of the game from the first shift, with two huge body checks from Braiden Koran and Erik Delaire.”
In the second, the Nitros erupted for three goals. McDowell with his third of the weekend, Brady Daniels with his first as a Nitro, and Brandt Bertoia his sixth of the year, all scored for the Nitros.
In the third McDowell continued his scoring ways with his fourth of the weekend.
“That was a good goal,” you could hear McDowell smiling as he recounted the goal. “I stole the puck from the guy at the blueline and went in and ripped it, and broke the water bottle.”
Jackson Bohan gave the Nitros a commanding 5-0 lead with a power play slapper from the point.
McDowell would be named the star of the game with his two goals, and Adam Andersen would make 15 saves for his first ever career KIJHL shutout.
“It was a cool feeling. I have come close a couple of times and had it slip away. So it was nice to finally get that done. It feels pretty good.”
“It was a huge weekend for us, to take those two teams down.”
McDowell added, when reviewing the weekend, “we wanted to make a statement. Not only for ourselves, but to the league, to show everyone how good we are.”
As for Stuart, he is proud with how his team is playing, “I am proud of how we are playing as a team, in terms of physicality,” he said. “It’s taking hits, it’s going to the dirty areas. It’s something that this organization hasn’t been known for, and it is surprising and frustrating a lot of teams.”
Next up for the Nitros is divisional rivals, the Columbia Valley Rockies and the Golden Rockets on Friday and Saturday at home. The Dynamiters will be sporting new jerseys in support of Kidney Cancer for the month of November.
“These are two big division teams,” McDowell said. “We want to showcase our team game against them.”
MATCH STICKS: Risdon and MciLwain were scratched due to minor injuries. McDonald and Kennedy did not play due to suspensions. The Mark Creek Lions Club is continuing their effort of giving back to the community by giving two tickets away at McKim Middle School.