After a three game home stand, the Kimberley Dynamiters hopped over the division line going over the Salmo-Creston pass to play in Castlegar, and then crossed the national border for a date in Spokane against the Braves.
The Nitros were short handed six regulars all road trip, due to illness, injuries and suspensions.
The road trip started out well for the Nitros, as head coach and general manager Derek Stuart reported that his team actually outshot the Castlegar Rebels 12-6 in the first, not tied 5-5 as reported on the boxscore.
“We just didn’t get the bounces.” Stuart said. “In the first ten minutes we could have easily been up. We came out and dominated those first ten minutes. We didn’t bear down on our chances.
The Dynamiters game began to snowball out of control after being down 1-0 in the first 20.
“After that, [Castlegar] got one and it snowballed from there. It snowballed, and we weren’t able to stop it.”
The Rebels scored two quick goals in the second period, and then the penalties began to mount.
The speedy Rebels would capitalize in the power play in the third, and then add another goal to blow the Nitros out 5-0.
Adam Andersen came in for relief for Cody Campbell after the fourth goal. The two combined for 29 saves.
With the lineup shortages, the Nitros dressed two affiliate players: Jackson Bohan (‘01) and Erik Delaire (‘01), both are from Cranbrook.
“They did really good. Castlegar is a really good team, and they both did well.”
Needless to say, this was a game that the Dynamiters wanted to forget, and they wanted to bounce back against the Spokane Braves.
The Braves, however, had a different plan. On an early power play, the Braves took a 1-0 lead. Their goaltender turned aside the 21 shots fired at him that period. It’s as if the Nitros couldn’t shake loose of the snowball created the night before.
In the second intermission, Stuart addressed the team.
“Part of our struggles may have been cockiness in the room, because we had our way with them the last time we were there.
“We had to remind them of how hard Spokane played a week ago, that they are good hockey club, and we need to step up our game and treat them like a good hockey club and respect them.”
What was said in the dressing room, lit the Dynamiters fuse, they exploded with four goals in the second period. Brandt Bertoia, James Farmer and Langridge led the charge, by the end of the game, that line would tally nine points.
Bertoia opened the scoring on a break away goal, a play that Stuart says is a setup play. Then the Nitros began firing in power play goal after power play goal. Chase Gedny, then Farmer, and then Nicholas Ketola. It was all of a sudden 4-1 for the Nitro’s after two periods.
Bertoia and Farmer would score their second goals each in the third, and then Austin Lawson would give the Nitro’s a commanding 7-1 lead over the Braves.
“Aside from the first, we were excellent in Spokane. In the second and third period was they way that we are capable of playing, and everyone stepped their game up. Everyone played we needed them to play.”
Campbell made 31 saves in a rebound effort from the game prior.
“We planned on starting Campbell both games before we left. I think it is time for him to start playing more as the starter.”
The Dynamiters finish October with a 7-2 record, and have a nine point lead in the division while sitting tied with the Nelson Leafs for top spot in the KIJHL.