The Kimberley Dynamiters headed into the weekend games in Beaver Valley relying heavily on their experience against the Fernie Ghostriders. While the Nitehawks were going to bring their ‘A’ game.
In game three in Fruitvale, the Dynamiters took a first period lead as Brock Palmer scored on a pass from Keegan McDowell.
The teams then went scoreless in the middle period.
In he third, the Nitehawks tied the game on the power play.
Twenty-two seconds later, McDowell scored his seventh of the playoffs on a pass from Palmer.
“We worked so hard to tie the game up,” Nitehawks head coach and general manager Terry Jones said, “and then to give it up right away the next shift. That was tough.”
Brett Anderson made 17 saves for the win. It was the Nitros 25th win in a row, going back into the regular season.
Game four belonged to the Nitehawks.
The Nitehawks opened the scoring on the power play.
“Getting the lead was important,” Jones said. “It was nice to get up and get our offensive game going.”
In the second period, the Nitehawks continued to pour it on, scoring two goals a mere 65 seconds apart to take a 3-0 lead.
The Nitros couldn’t recover. For the first time since December 15, 2018; the Nitros pulled their goalie. Anderson replaced Andersen in net.
“We were not ready to go,” Nitros head coach and general manager Derek Stuart said. “We didn’t play our game.
“We like to think that if we are playing the way we can, we control the outcome of the game. We didn’t do that.”
Even when Neil Kingston scored on the power play, the Nitehawks had an answer.
The Nitros tried to fight their way back, launching 20 shots on net in the third to the Nitehawks four, but they couldn’t score.
Stuart said, “when you only play 20 minutes of Dynamiters hockey, you don’t deserve to win.”
Goaltending was the key to the Nitehawks success in the game four win.
“[Decottingies] was simply outstanding in the third period,” Jones said. “He made every save look easy, and was very composed.”
The Nitehawks survived an elimination game forcing game five.
“We really battled,” Jones said. “It was good to get the win.”
Derian Bamber noted that it has been a while since the Nitros lost, “It’s bound to happen, we are not perfect.”
Now the series returns back to Kimberley on Monday (tonight) at the Civic Centre.
“We approach it one game at time.” Jones said about how his team will be getting ready for the game.
“Our guys know how to play, and they know what they need to do.”
As for the Nitros, Bamber said, “We need to get back to our normal game. Get our confidence back. We need to forget about what happened last game. The only thing that matters is your next shift.
He added that the fan support has been key to their success.
“The support we get is unbelievable. Close to half the fans in Fruitvale were Nitros fans.”
He is looking forward to the fan support for game five at home.
Tickets can be purchased as early as 3pm on Monday.