After the flu decimated the Dynamiters over their weekend road trip, the team got enough healthy bodies back in the lineup to grind out a 4-1 win over the Columbia Valley Rockies on Tuesday night on home ice.
Jason Richter, Darren Martin, Bryce Perpelitz and Eric Buckley provided offence for the Nitros, while Stephen Pratt scored the lone goal for the Rockies.
“In the first period, we kind of had tired legs, but as the game wore on, I thought, definitely, our conditioning outmatched CV’s for sure,” said Martin, the Dynamiters captain.
In the second half of the first period, Buckley struck first on a breakaway, beating Rockies goaltender Stewart Pratt up high on the glove side with a shot.
Heading into the second period, the Nitros were the first to kick off the parade to the penalty box. Tyler Kinnon was hit with a four-minute double minor and Jared Marchi got tagged for goaltender interference, and the Rockies were gifted with a two-man advantage for just over three minutes.
Stephen Pratt made good on the ensuing powerplay, scoring Columbia Valley’s lone goal to even it up at 1-1.
However, the tide began to change and soon it was the Rockies who were heading to the box and the Nitros made them pay when Perpelitz teed up from the blue line and blasted a slap shot home.
A few minutes later, Columbia Valley’s goaltender Stewart Pratt went down with a Nitro player on top of him. The goalie landed a couple blows with his blocker before getting hit with a match penalty and game misconduct.
Martin quarterbacked the powerplay and was rewarded with a goal when he unloaded on the net at the blue line.
“I think our puck retrieval was good and we had some good shots,” said Dynamiters head coach Jerry Bancks, on the effectiveness of the powerplay. “Perp’s goal was just a rocket, Marty’s was a rocket.
“We need to do more of that—score from the point on the powerplay. We’re afraid to shoot, I don’t know why, so it was good that it happened and hopefully we can learn from it.”
More shenanigans came in the third period, in the form of more game ejections, as a pair of Rockies players got tossed for head contact.
Richter scored on another Nitro man-advantage for a three goal lead with just over five minutes remaining in the game.
Tyson Brouwer stood in goal for the Dynamiters, making 31 saves for the win, while Pratt and Brody Nelson shared netminding duties, with 27 collective saves.
Having a mostly healthy roster was a welcome change for the team after hitting the road this past weekend with a busload of sick players.
“It meant a lot to have most of our players back, we still have a couple out—and we still had some playing, they’re not 100 per cent,” said Bancks.
“…It’s going to be nice to get everybody healthy. We need to get through this weekend, then we’re back to our normal schedule.
“You can tell we’ve only practiced twice since Christmas. We were pretty sloppy. It was an ugly win, but we’ll take it.”