With key veterans banged up over the course of the weekend, alternate captain and 20-year-old weapon Jared Marchi got the job done for the Kimberley Dynamiters, helping fuel his club to a pair of wins in KIJHL action.
Friday night, Marchi scored twice to light the fuse — including the game-winning goal midway through the third period — as the Dynamiters doubled up the Kamloops Storm by a margin of 4-2 in a rematch of last season’s KIJHL championship.
“We played a full 60 minutes [Friday],” Marchi said. “We didn’t let up at all.”
The 5-foot-11 forward showed a penchant for late theatrics this weekend, scoring his first goal Friday with only 9.1 seconds remaining on the clock in the second period.
Sunday afternoon, the Nitros travelled to Canal Flats to face the Columbia Valley Rockies and it was the Kimberley native striking in the last possible moment of regulation — 0.1 seconds remaining on the clock, to be precise — to give his team a 6-5 victory in an all-important divisional game.
Playing three games in three nights, the Dynamiters weren’t able to come up with a three-pack of wins as their Eddie Mountain Division rivals from Creston split that effort down the middle by claiming a 5-2 victory Saturday.
After posting a career-high 25 goals and 57 points during the 2013-14 season, Marchi’s offensive output regressed in 2014-15 as he managed 13 goals and 31 points in 43 games.
The 2015-16 season has been a different story, as the local product finds himself in the top-10 in league scoring with 11 goals and 30 points through 23 games and with plenty of opportunity left on the schedule.
“Last year, I dwelled on all the negatives,” Marchi said. “This year, I have a more positive attitude and outlook on everything. That’s obviously helping me out a bunch.”
Dynamiters head coach Jerry Bancks was pleased with his team’s bounce-back effort Friday against Kamloops on the heels of a 3-1 loss to the Castlegar Rebels Tuesday night.
“We found a way to win against a very good team — a fast team, well coached — and we found a way to win,” Bancks said Monday. “They outplayed us early in the game and we kind of matched them.”
The Storm and Nitros went back-and-forth Friday in an entertaining affair at the Kimberley Civic Centre, before defenceman Tyler Van Steinburg iced the victory with an empty-net goal in the final minute of regulation.
Goaltender Tyson Brouwer was good on 25 of 27 shots to backstop his club to victory.
Saturday in Creston, the the Thunder Cats managed to steal two points from their divisional rivals.
“We had a 2-1 lead and we kind of just handed it to them,” Bancks said of Saturday’s loss.
“They got a couple quick ones and next thing you know, we were behind the eight ball. But it’s a good lesson. They’re a good team.”
Forward Dylan Hogue scored twice to lead the Thunder Cats, while goaltender Brock Lefebvre made 27 saves for the win.
The worst damage of the weekend came in the injury department as the Nitros lost forwards James Rota (lower body, day to day) and Marco Campanella (upper body, six to eight weeks). Also roughed up was captain Jason Richter, who aggravated an upper-body injury that kept him out of action last weekend.
Bancks is unsure whether or not Richter will be held out of the lineup this weekend, but is considering him day to day for the time being.
The Dynamiters get back to it Friday night when they welcome the Fernie Ghostriders to the Kimberley Civic Centre (7 p.m.)