Kimberley Dynamiters fans can look forward to home-ice advantage for the first round of the KIJHL post-season, at the very least, after the Nitros locked up first place in the Eddie Mountain Division with a 5-3 road victory over the Castlegar Rebels Saturday evening.
Home-ice advantage has been, and remains, the biggest priority for the Nitros (35-5-0-4) as the KIJHL regular season wears thin.
“It’s really important that we take care of trying to get home ice,” said Jerry Bancks, head coach of the Nitros, one week ago as his team closed in on a division title. “Our support is probably the best in the KIJHL this year and we know how important and how much the fans helped us last year.”
Saturday, the Nitros and Rebels battled to a 2-2 draw through 20 minutes before the hosts took a 3-2 lead courtesy Vince Bitonti only 42 seconds in the second period.
Defenceman Tyler Van Steinburg knotted the game 3-3 midway through the period before veteran Sawyer Hunt struck for his career-high 12th goal of the season, spotting Kimberley a 4-3 edge heading into the third period.
Rookie James Farmer added a third-period insurance goal and goaltender Tyson Brouwer made 32 saves for his league-leading 27th triumph of the season.
Korbyn Chabot and Franco Colapaolo posted tallies in the first period.
Next in line for the Nitros is a road trip to visit the Creston Valley Thunder Cats (26-14-2-2) Wednesday evening (7:30 p.m.) at the Johnny Bucyk Arena.