The Kimberley Dynamiters came away with three of a possible four points this past weekend, keeping pace in the KIJHL’s ever-competitive Eddie Mountain Division.
Friday night, the Nitros earned one point in a 2-1 overtime road loss to the Spokane Braves.
Back home the following night, the Dynamiters cruised to a resounding 5-1 victory over the Golden Rockets.
“It was a really positive weekend, three points and some good character building,” said Dynamiters head coach Jerry Bancks Monday.
Friday in Spokane the Dynamiters opened the scoring courtesy a power-play goal from defenceman Jordan Busch.
After Braves forward Dillon Bogart tied the game in the second period, the two teams battled through a scoreless third before heading to overtime.
Braves forward Kurtis Redding ensured the extra point for the hosts, ending the game 27 seconds into overtime.
After returning from Spokane at 4:30 a.m., the Nitros were back at it with a Saturday night tilt against the Golden Rockets.
The brand-new combination of Lincoln Lane, Braden Saretsky and Jason Richter led the Dynamiters to a 5-1 victory over their Eddie Mountain Division rivals.
For Lane, Saturday marked his Dynamiters debut after GM Dave Smith officially completed a deal with the Grand Forks Border Bruins Friday afternoon, acquiring the native of Cloverdale, B.C., for cash and future considerations.
“It’s increased our hockey IQ as a group of forwards a whole bunch,” Bancks said of the recent additions of Lane and Saretsky. “They play smart hockey. They’re good hockey players with good hands. That’s the biggest thing — it gives us a lot more depth up front.
“Everybody will benefit from having them in the group.”
Skating alongside the two newest Nitros, captain Jason Richter registered two goals, including what stood as the eventual game-winner Saturday night.
Lane found himself on the helping side of both Richter’s tallies, earning assists on each.
Saretsky found his way to the scoresheet Saturday night as well, adding the Dynamiters third goal and assisting on both of Richter’s markers as well.
“That whole line played extremely well,” Bancks said. “They clicked.”
Lane wasn’t the only fresh body making an appearance this weekend.
With injuries to five key components, affiliate players (AP) James Rota and Jacob Bromley both saw action this weekend. Rota, who had four games prior experience with the Dynamiters, skated Friday night. Bromley made his Dynamiters debut Saturday against Golden.
“They did a great job and that’s always important for us,” Bancks said. “We’re lucky to have the AP process. It was very critical in our playoff run last year when we took Fernie out and battled Creston to the very end. We had APs playing all the way through.
“They played well and they’ll probably get an opportunity to play again…It gives them a chance to see what they’ve got to do to play in this league on a full-time basis next year, so it’s always a good process.”
Nitros goaltender Tyson Brouwer was between the pipes for both games this weekend, making 24 stops in Spokane before turning aside 27 pucks for the win against Golden.
The three-point weekend pushed the Dynamiters (16-12-1-3) into a third-place tie with the Creston Valley Thunder Cats (16-11-1-3). Both teams have laid claim to 36 points this season, but Creston Valley holds the tiebreaker on the strength of a 3-1-0-0 head-to-head record against the Nitros.
The Dynamiters and Thunder Cats meet for the fifth time this season Tuesday night at Johnny Bucky Arena in Creston.
“We probably need to play harder on the road,” Bancks said. “We have to bear down more, pretend you’re playing in front of friends and family and go get the job done.
“We’ve got to outwork them. Plain and simple. They’re a hard-working team.
“We’ve got to make sure we’re prepared to work harder than they are.”