The Kimberley Dynamiters split their weekend games on the road, notching a 7-1 blowout against Grand Forks on Friday, February 7, 2020, and then once again going to overtime in a game against Spokane, which they lost 5-4.
The Grand Forks games saw five different players score; Cam Russel, Jed Butler, Beau Larson (2), Keegan McDowell (2), and Jett Saharchuk.
On Saturday, February 8, the Nitros were behind most of the game before Saharchuk tied it at 4-4 in the third. Kade Levins scored for Spokane in overtime.
Head Coach and General Manager Derek Stuart says that you can’t win every overtime game.
“We’re okay with losing, but it’s how we lost on Saturday. Defensively, we were not good. We let them beat us.”
He says the team did most things the same as they did in the win over Grand Forks, but were not nearly as physical.
“We were missing four of our most physical players,” he said. “But that’s when others have to step up.”
Despite losing one game, the Dynamiters clinched first place in the Kootenay Conference for the third straight year.
“We’re real proud of that,” Stuart said. “It doesn’t mean too much except home ice advantage if we make it to the conference finals, but it’ss a real feather in our cap.”
The Dynamiters will finish out the season at home. They play Columbia Valley at home on Friday, Spokane on Sunday, then Creston and Grand Forks the following weekend.
The team has been on the road a lot through January and February, and although they have been quite successful, Stuart says it’s good to see the schedule even out with four home games to end the season.
As for the looming playoffs, Stuart says overall he’s feeling real good about everything.
If there was something to work on, he says, it’s attention to defence.
“We’ve been lacking it in some of our recent games. It’s uncharacteristic for us to let in as many goals as we have in some recent games.”
Stuart says he will be showing the team some video, pointing out where guys are not competing as hard as they could, or making mistakes.
Right now, Kimberley has 75 points, second in the league to Revelstoke with 76.