The Kimberley Dynamiters remained perfect to start the 2014-15 KIJHL regular season after defeating the Castlegar Rebels 7-3 Saturday night.
The win gave the Nitros an unblemished fine-game winning streak to start the campaign.
“I’m really happy with how we’re progressing,” said Dynamiters head coach Jerry Bancks following the win. “We’ve been lucky. We’re healthy. It’s been really tough because you have to sit a couple guys out [every] night that don’t really deserve to sit out.
“We’ve got a good thing going right now and hopefully it can continue.”
Kimberley used a first-period outburst en route to getting past the Rebels 7-4 Sept. 21 in Castlegar. Saturday night at home, it was a three-goal third period leading the Dynamiters to a 7-3 triumph.
“As a group, we played extremely well tonight,” Bancks said. “The ‘D’ made a couple mistakes early on in the game that cost us but after that they regrouped and played well. Tyson [Brouwer] was consistent again.
“That was a good team win tonight. Last night was a win, but it wasn’t a team win.”
The Nitros escaped Nelson with a 4-2 victory Friday night and afterwards, Bancks credited the victory to Brouwer stealing one for his teammates.
Nitros forward Jason Richter had a strong showing Saturday night, chipping in with two goals to help lead his team.
Tyson Brouwer was consistent once again, making 18 saves to backstop the team to its fifth-consecutive win. At the other end of the rink, Rebels goaltender Patrick Zubick was victimized by the Dynamiters on seven occasions for the second time in a week. The Castlegar netminder was busy, facing 41 shots and turning aside 34.
“We just put pucks on net and hope for the best,” Richter said following Saturday’s win.
By the mid-mark of the first period, those in attendance at the Kimberley Civic Centre were probably preparing for a barn-burner reminiscent of what took place in Castlegar less than a week prior.
The Rebels and Nitros combined for four goals in the first 10 minutes of play, exchanging blows before things settled 2-2 with 9:55 to play.
Rebels forward Bryan Lubin kicked things off before Marco Campanella drew the hosts even moments later. On the ensuing shift, the Dynamiters broke in two-on-one with Campanella sliding a slick feed through the slot to Alex Rosolowsky who finished the play to give Kimberley a bang-bang 2-1 lead.
Just when it seemed Kimberley was about to grab control of the game, Dawson Haines pulled the visitors even at the 9:55 mark.
Richter brought the first period scoring to a close when he put the Dynamiters ahead 3-2 late in the frame. Eric Buckley burst out of the corner with the puck and after having his stick slashed out of his hands, put on a quick soccer clinic as he dribble the puck a few steps before booting a pass right on to the stick of Richter, who made sure to find twine.
Lubin and Campanella exchanged goals in the middle frame.
Richter and Klingspohn put the game out of reach for Castlegar with two quick markers before five minutes had expired in the final period. Rosolowsky piled on and the Dynamiters sat on a 7-3 lead for the remaining 14:56 of regulation.
Rosolowsky and Campanella led the offense Saturday night, with both registering two goals and an assist. Sawyer Hunt turned in a three-point night as well, grabbing three helpers.
“Character came before skill [when building this team last season],” Bancks said. “We kept with that decision [this season] because you believe you can develop skill. You can’t develop character. They either have it or they don’t. I have a room full of character kids.”
According to Bancks, even on days where he hasn’t scheduled team workouts, his troops are off on their own battling through player-organized workouts. Examples like show the character of Bancks’ squad and he knows it’s what also helps them win third periods in what can be a physically gruelling KIJHL regular season.
“We work on our fitness a lot during practice,” Richter said. “Every Monday, we’ll do a little bag skate at the end and it really helps us out…We really, really, really pride ourselves on our fitness.
“It’s the group of guys we’ve got. We’re all real good guys and we know if we have better fitness than the other team, come down to the third period and we’ll be able to outwork them.”
The Nitros next action comes Friday, Oct. 3 when the Summerland Steam (4-1-0-0) visit the Kimberley Civic Centre.
As for the Rebels (3-5-0-0), they return home for a pair of games next weekend. The Nelson Leafs (3-1-1-1) visit Castlegar Oct. 4 before the Rebels welcome the Chase Heat (1-2-1-1) for a Sunday afternoon matinee Oct. 5.