Dynamiters maintain five point lead over Thunder Cats

JOSH LOCKHART

The Kimberley Dynamiters came out of the weekends games battered up.

On Friday the Dynamiters traveled to Invermere to battle the Columbia Valley Rockies.

The Nitros came out firing on Rockies goaltender Joshua King who just returned from injury. He surrendered one goal on 14 first period shots to Matt Davies.

Chase Gedny scored yet again on the power play, the only power play goal on an eventual six opportunities.

Cam Russell would score a minute later, and with 18 minutes left in the second, the Nitros had a lead that was theirs to lose.

The Nitros continued to pepper King with another 21 shots in the last period. James Farmer would notch the Nitro’s fourth goal of the game.

“I’ve said this before.” Head coach and general manager Derek Stuart said, “our top nine forwards, whoever is going on a particular night becomes our top line.

“Our best line, even though they didn’t get on the scoresheet was Keilty, Recchi and Graham. They were our best fore-checking line”

The Rockies loan goal came on a penalty shot, which Kade Garritty was able to solve Cody Campbell.

Campbell made 31 saves for his 18th win of the season.

“Our team did really well [in Invermere]. Our teams toughness showed immensely that night. They took it to a whole new level, actually trying to be physical. Thus, there was a lot of open space for our guys to make plays.”

The Nitros left Invermere with a couple of injuries. Both Davies and Gedny were injured in accidental plays. James Rota, however, was on the receiving end of a head contact, a play which later resulted in Seth Summers being suspended for two games because of an accumulation of head contact minors.

That meant for Saturday’s game in Creston, the Nitros had 17 skaters.

The Nitros were also battling fatigue, having played three games in five nights after a week off due to the KIJHL Prospects Showcase.

Add in that the Creston Valley Thunder Cats are the hottest team in the KIJHL. They had won seven games in a row heading into the game, outscoring their opponents 48-15 during the streak (an average of nearly seven goals scored a game, to two goals against).

With all those factors, this game was lined up to be a struggle.

The Nitros were quickly penalized twice within the first two minutes, and then add a series of errors over a span of 3:42 and the Cats had an early 3-0 lead, two goals by Cats Tyler Witzke.

It continued to get worse in the second. The Cats Ronnie Wilkie would score two goals six minutes apart, resulting in Adam Andersen replacing Campbell in net.

Coach Stuart would be tossed from the game, and then the Cats would score two more goals, including Wilkie’s hattrick goal. Making it 7-0 after 40 minutes.

Without the head coach at the helm, the Nitros would stop the bleeding, as Brandt Bertoia would score the teams lone goal.

Despite outshooting the Thunder Cats 39-32, the Nitros would lose 7-1.

Andersen made 18 saves on 20 shots.

“Andersen was fantastic coming in, and fantastic again in the third.”

Even though the loss was hard, and the Cats drew two points closer in the standings, the Nitro’s still hold a five point lead.

“We have to completely forget about this game. It doesn’t mean anything in terms of the standings. It doesn’t mean anything in terms of our goal, we still control our own destiny.

“We are going to practice and get ready for Fernie and Golden this weekend.”

Around the Eddie: The Thunder Cats blew out the Golden Rockets 9-1 on Friday. The Rockets would follow that up with a 7-4 home win over the Rockies with 15 year old Izzy Palumbo in net. Palumbo became the first female goalie to play a full-game, and win in KIJHL history. The Fernie Ghostriders spent their weekend in the Neil Murdoch Division, winning two against Spokane, and then falling 5-3 to the Castlegar Rebels.

Match Sticks: Davies, Rota, Gedney and Colby Sherlock are listed as injured. Harrison Risdon is suspended for two games for a kneeing penalty and game misconduct.

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