It was not the way the Nitros wanted to finish heading into the Christmas break, as the Fernie Ghostriders played the role of the Grinch by sweeping a home and home series over the weekend.
The Golden Rockets had flown above the Dynamiters and the Ghostriders in the standings, but Fernie’s two wins have put them in a tie for first in the Eddie Mountain Division.
The Nitros have slipped to third place, six points behind both teams.
Both weekend contests were tight, as Friday’s 4-3 decision was decided in the final two minutes of the third period, while Saturday’s affair was a 3-2 overtime win.
Dylan Rota scored the game winner on Friday in Fernie to give the ‘Riders the win, and also potted the overtime marker the following night.
The two teams traded goals in the first period on Friday as Josh McKissock score for the ‘Riders, but Tanner Gray responded for the Nitros to even things up.
Both were held scoreless in the middle frame, but the ‘Riders posted a trio of goals in the final period, while Kimberley only answered with a pair.
The Nitros initially pulled ahead, scoring twice from Taylor McDowell and Eric Buckley, but Fernie roared back with three unanswered markers from McKissock, Matt Carr and Rota.
Both teams were held scoreless on the man-advantage; Fernie had four opportunities, while Kimberley had seven.
Jeremy Mousseau turned away 40 shots while manning the crease for the Nitros, with Chris Solecki stopping 29 shots for Fernie.
The ‘Riders came down to the Civic Centre in Kimberley the following night for a rematch and stole a 3-2 overtime decision.
For the second consecutive game, Fernie took the lead off a goal from McKissock in the first period, but Taylor McDowell evened it up in the following frame.
Kimberley pulled ahead in the final period off a goal from Andrew Miller, but Patrick Webb responded for Fernie with four minutes remaining in the game.
Rota scored late in the overtime frame with 1:40 to go.
Fernie had one power play goal in seven opportunities, while Kimberley capitalized once in nine chances.
Solecki made 37 saves for Fernie, while Matthew Mitchell stopped 35 shots for Kimberley.
The Nitros will be back at it on Dec. 29 in another home and home series with the Ghostriders.