By Josh Lockhart
For the second time this month, the Kimberley Dynamiters have played back-to-back games against the same divisional opponent. This past weekend, it was the Columbia Valley Rockies on the schedule.
The Kimberley Dynamiters headed into the weekend series on a four game winning streak and wanted to end the weekend on a high note heading into their Christmas break.
The Nitros looked like they were on a mission to start the game. Matt Davies opened the scoring 63 seconds into the game. Chase Gedny followed that up with a slapshot from the slot power play goal. With those two quick goals, it looked like it was going to be all Kimberley.
Before the period ended, though, the Rockies halved the Nitros lead. It was 2-1.
“Our first 10 minutes were excellent,” Head Coach and General Manager, Derek Stuart said. “I think the guys got a little bit too over confident thinking that it was going to be point night, or easy after that. So we struggled for the next 30 minutes.”
The second period has been a sore spot for the Nitros as of late. This game was no exception, the Rockies were able to tie the game at two, and outshot the Nitros 12-10. It’s as if the Nitros were just trying to survive the middle period.
And has been tradition, the Nitros excelled in the third period. Gedny scored a very identical goal to earlier in the game on the power play. Minutes later Nicholas Graham gave the Nitro’s a 4-2 lead.
The Nitros would hold on to win the game, as Adam Andersen would turn aside 23 of 25 shots for his seventh win of the season.
On Saturday, it was as if the Rockies had stolen the script from Friday’s game from the Nitros. Fifty-seven seconds into the game the Rockies scored. The Rockies held onto their 1-0 period lead, despite being out-shot 14-5.
In the second period the Nitros were able to draw even on a very confusing play. The whistle had blown, the Rockies stopped playing, Stuart thought his team was being penalized, but the Nitros skaters kept playing a Davies scored.
The awkward play is what began to fuel the fire for the Nitros. James Farmer would add a goal moments later.
Then in the third the Nitros began to pull away with Bryce McDonald and Brock Palmer scoring the third and fourth goals, to take the road game 4-1.
To earn his 15th victory of the season, Cody Campbell made 24 saves in Invermere.
“The third period, I thought was our best period of the game.” Stuart said, “That was our best 60-minute effort in a long time. We were great.”
Stuart also commended the team on their effort to stay focused in the game before the Christmas break.
But if there was one part of the Nitros game that Staurt was most pleased with, it was special teams.
“Our special teams were excellent this weekend. Our penalty kill was perfect, killing all 10 penalties. The powerplay was the best it’s been all year, we were able to score five times on 11 opportunities.
“When your special teams is that good you’re going to win a lot of games.”
The Nitros now go on a 10-day break, riding a six-game win-streak to then return on December 27th for practice to prepare for the holiday classic against the Fernie Ghostriders on the 28th and 29th.
Staurt is glad that the team gets a break, but is also torn about taking a break during the teams win streak. He would like to keep the momentum going.
Because, the Dynamiters now sit first in the league, three points ahead of the Nelson Leafs, and they also have a nine point lead on the Creston Valley Thunder Cats in the division.