The Kimberley Dynamiters start off their 4-game road trip with two games this weekend. First, the Nitros head over the Kootenay Pass to Castlegar, to play the Rebels (3-4-0-0) on Friday. Then on Saturday, they return to the East Kootenays and play the Columbia Valley Rockies (1-5-0-1) in Invermere.
“Road trips are always fun — you get to bond with the guys,” said Dynamiters Captain Ryan Hozjan. “I think [that] this road trip is a good chance for us to prove that we are a good road team, having only played one game on the road so far.”
The Dynamiters only road game so far this season was in Golden, and they won that match.
The Rebels currently sit fourth in their division and are 1-1 at home. They have four players — Logan Styler, John Moeller, Ed Lindsey & Andrew Petten — averaging at least one point a game.
“Castlegar played us tough when they came here a few weeks back,” said Kimberley general manager and head coach Derek Stuart. “They have improved their team since then [and] are right in the mix of things in their division.
“It will definitely be a hard game for our players [and] a good test for us.”
The Rockies, however, are heading in a different direction in the standings. They are in last place in their division, currently on a five game losing streak, and are 1-3 at home.
But Stuart doesn’t want to focus on the standings.
“You’re never as good as your record says and you’re never as bad as your record says.
“We are the defending Kootenay Conference champions,” he said. “We have a target on our back [and] now [that we are] 6-1, I’m sure that target is a little bigger … we are most likely going to see other teams’ best games, and we need to be prepared to play our best.”
The Dynamiters want to keep the winning streak going, but don’t want to focus on it.
“It’s something we need to keep out of our minds,” Hozjan said. “Having a win streak is nice, but it’s definitely not going to be our focus this weekend.”
“Hopefully we are not thinking too much about what we have done,” Stuart agreed. “[We need to] focus more on what we have learned and on what we are going to do.
“We have a lot of confidence in our group [and] the players have a lot of confidence in themselves … if we play our game the result should take care of itself.”
Puck drop for the Castlegar game is 8 p.m, and then 7:30 p.m. in Invermere.
For up-to-date Kimberley Dynamiter information visit: www.kimberleydynamiters.net/blog. Also follow Josh on twitter @joshuaklockhart.