The Kimberley Dynamiters finished out the Eddie Mountain Division Semi-Finals by outscoring the Golden Rockets 11-2 over two games.
Friday in Golden was the first playoff game in Golden in four seasons.
The Dynamiters scored five goals in a row before the Rockets responded in the third period.
Spencer Kennedy, a healthy scratch in game two on Wednesday, led the offensive charge, netting a hat trick before the completion of the second period.
“It was good to get back in the lineup, and help the team.” Kennedy said. “Just do my best to help contribute. I got lucky with my goals, my linemates helped me out.
“I just need to be more consistent. I think I had a good response to being a healthy scratch.”
Braiden Koran and Brady Daniels scored the Nitro’s first and fourth goals, respectively.
After the Rockets tally, Ryan Skytt would add the Nitro’s sixth goal on the power play. The Nitro’s third power play goal of the game.
By the end of the game, the Nitros had 16 power play opportunities to the Rockets 10, in a penalty filled game.
Brett Anderson made his KIJHL Playoff debut, making 20 saves, in the win.
Game four, a do or die game for the Rockets.
Jackson Bohan opened the scoring early in the first. This time, the Rockets had a response, as former Nitro Chad MciLwain tied the game at one.
After that, Keegan McDowell and the Nitros took over. McDowell scored two. Skytt made it 4-1.
Then Neil Kingston found the empty net for his first goal of the playoffs.
Adam Andersen made an astounding 41 saves as the Dynamiters swept the series.
Looking back at the series, Mitch Fargey said, “I think that as the series went on, the boys realized how important it was to play our game and consistently out work them.”
For Nitros head coach and general manager Derek Stuart, he was pleased with how the eleven rookies have been performing, “They did great. There were obviously some times during the first two games where we might have been a little nervous.
“In Golden, I thought we played much better team hockey. It was good to see heading into the next round.”
Kennedy added, “we went in and played our game. We used our size, we were good in the corners, we just executed good on plays, we used our speed.”
Reflecting on the four game sweep, Stuart said, “I’m really happy with our team play in Golden, especially our team toughness… I thought all the guys played playoff hockey.
“I thought the first two games at home were a little lackluster in terms of energy and intensity. Those two games in Golden, those were true playoff games. I really liked how the guys played.”
Shifting to the other series in the Eddie Mountain, the Fernie Ghostriders swept the Columbia Valley Rockies with an overtime win in their game four on Saturday night.
The Ghostriders and Dynamiters face off for the sixth year in a row in the playoffs. The last time the Ghostriders won a series against Kimberley was in 2012, and they needed seven games.
Unlike last year, when the Riders played really well in Kimberley, this year, the Riders have been a difficult opponent in their own barn. The Nitros have lost, tied, and won in overtime in Fernie.
“We have gotten better every time we have been there,” Stuart said.”I really like how we played the last two times we were there.”
Overall in the regular season, the Nitros won the series 4-1-1, outscoring the ‘Riders 17-11.
The fans are excited for this series to start, but so are the players.
“I’m excited. It’s what the fans wants. It’s what the players want. I’m looking forward to it.”
“Fernie is our biggest rival,” Fargey added, “So it will be a good battle and test for us.”
According to Kennedy, there is one thing the Nitros need to do this series to overcome the ‘Riders in Fernie: composure.
“Keep our heads, and keep consistent.”
At this point in time, the schedule has not been released. The series will start in Kimberley, but could start as early as Thursday, or as late as Saturday; depending on ice availability in Fernie and Kimberley.
Match Sticks: Here is the recent history of the Kimberley vs Fernie series:
2018 first round, Nitros in 5
2017 first round, Nitros in 6
2016 first round, Nitros in 5
2015 second round, Nitros in 6
2014 first round, Nitros in 5
2013 – did not play each other
2012 second round, Fernie in 7
2011 first round, Fernie in 4