The Kimberley Dynamiters took their winning streak on the road to the Okanagan Division this past weekend.
On Friday, the Dynamiters had a case of the bus legs in the first period against the Princeton Posse, as the bus arrived moments before the game started.
“We spent nine hours on the bus, and got out and played right away.” Assistant coach Jeff Kiever said. “We didn’t bring our ‘A’ game.”
Despite the bus legs, Nitros Spencer Kennedy scored on the power play to give the team 1-0 lead after the first.
To start the second, the Posse took advantage of a scramble play to level the game at one.
Cam Russell scored the Nitros second goal on the power play to close out the second 2-1.
The Nitros got their speed back in the third, scoring two goals 1:52 apart. Brady Daniels scored the third goal, and Bryce McDonald scored the fourth.
During McDonald’s goal he found himself unbalanced trying to score the goal, getting his legs tied up and going feet first into the boards. McDonald sustained a broken right ankle on the play.
“It was an unfortunate event. The boys and the coaching staff were rattled.” Kiever said recalling going out on to the ice with McDonald, “We didn’t have our trainer with us….
“Their trainer was on the ice, and when we realized it was a significant injury, one of us needed needed to go out there for emotional support… I decided to go out there.”
Brandt Bertoia recalled with sadness, “After he tried getting up, and fell back down again, that’s when it struck me that ‘oh no, he’s hurt.’”
“It was really really sad. It sucks because he is a 20 year old this year, all you want to do is play hockey.
“A freak accident like that happens to him, it really hurt the boys. They boys are all feeling for him.”
The remainder of the game was emotionless, Kiever said.
Brett Anderson made 22 saves as the Dynamiters won their ninth in a row, 4-1.
“We didn’t have our ‘A’ game.” Brock Palmer said, “but our effort was there to get us the win.”
The Dynamiters spent their Saturday at the BC Hall of Fame and checking out the Penticton Vees venue.
Then the Nitros traveled to Summerland to play the Steam.
After an initial 10 minute checking each other out segment, the defensive lid on the game came off.
The Dynamiters scored to power play goals, Jackson Bohan started the scoring, then Keegan McDowell.
The two goal lead lasted 14 seconds as the steam got one back. Two minutes later, it was a two-all game.
Heading into the second, Bertoia gave the Dynamiters a one goal lead. To only have it erased by the Steam on the power play.
Braiden Koran rounded out the scoring in the second, giving the Nitros a 4-3 lead after 40 minutes.
To start the third, the Steam scored three goals in a row, two of them on the power play.
With three minutes left in the period, the Nitros pulled goaltender Adam Andersen.
At the 2:06 remaining mark, Cam Russell brought the Nitros to within one scoring on the power play.
The Dynamiters continued to play with the net empty, and earned another power play. With a dozen seconds left, there was a scramble faceoff that Palmer was able to find the loose puck on, and tie the game 6-6 with 10 seconds left.
“Scoring two goals in the last two minutes to tie it up, is pretty spectacular,” Palmer said. “I thought we did really well under pressure to force over time.”
In overtime, the first five minute period of 4-on-4 did not solve anything.
Next it was a five minute period of 3-on-3 overtime hockey. The Steam took a tripping penalty, and a 4-on-3 power play followed.
On this power play, Palmer scored the teams sixth power play goal, and the 10th power play goal of the game.
“It was nothing pretty,” Palmer smiled, “but it got the job done.”
The Dynamiters won 7-6 to keep their winning streak alive at 10 games.
Reviewing the game, Kiever said “it was just a case where, we’d get up a goal and then take a deep breathe and let them keep coming back into the game.”
“It was nice to see the way we responded and stuck with it.”
The Nitros have one game this coming weekend against the Beaver Valley Nitehawks. Terry Jones, the Nitehawks coach, has won 999 KIJHL games. He and the Nitehawks will be looking to get his 1000th KIJHL win this Friday against the Nitros in Kimberley.
“We’ll focus this week on making sure our guys are mentally prepared and ready to go,” Kiever said, “knowing that Beaver Valley is going to be excited trying to get the 1000th win for their coach.”
Bertoia sounded like he is mentally ready, “he’s just going to have to wait, because it’s not going to happen,” He said. “As much as that is an amazing accomplishment, he will get it eventually, not this weekend.”
Prior to the game starting at 7:00 pm, there will be a tailgate party as the auction for the Kidney Cancer Jersey comes to an end.
MATCH STICKS: The Dynamiters traded Nathan Bailer to the Revelstoke Grizzlies for future considerations. McDonald will be having surgery on his right ankle.