The Kimberley Dynamiters survived a third period scare to hold their lead against the Columbia Valley Rockies, defeating their divisional rivals 5-4 on Tuesday night at the Civic Centre.
The Nitros had scored five goals after two periods, but the Rockies responded with three markers in the final frame to come within one goal of tying up the affair.
New pickup Bryce Halverson stood in net for the Dynamiters, turning away 32 pucks, while Stewart Pratt saved 26 shots for the Rockies.
Sam Nigg opened the scoring for the Nitros near the 12-minute mark of the first period, getting a tip on a shot from the point.
Taylor McDowell had a half-breakaway, but Pratt made the stop, while Halverson robbed Rockies forward Racey Red Crow, who found himself in the slot all alone with the puck.
Eric Buckley doubled the lead for the Dynamiters in the second period, sniping the top corner during a power play, but Columbia Valley soon responded when Kellen Marchand put his team on the scoreboard.
A flurry of Dynamiter goals then gave the team a seemingly insurmountable lead.
Connor Kutzner restored the two-goal lead, picking up the garbage in front of the net, and Connor Tetlock further increased the lead when he got his own rebound off a shot at the back doorstep.
Adam Hodge wristed the puck into the net from the top of the face-off circle on another power play to give the Nitros a 5-1 lead going into the final period.
That’s when the wheels fell off a bit.
Marchand notched his second of the game when he got his stick on a shot that beat Halverson, while Jake Fardoe shovelled the puck into the net off a scramble halfway through the frame.
James Price scored late in the game by somehow getting a shot through Halverson while driving to the net from a sharp angle.
However, the Nitros were able to hold off the Rockies with an extra attacker out on the ice to preserve the win.
“I thought we had a really good second, not a bad first, but we seemed to shut down a little bit in the third, there and against another team, that could be the difference in a game between winning and losing,” said Nitro assistant coach Jordan Foreman.