By Josh Lockhart
The Kimberley Dynamiters had a great start to the KIJHL College Showcase, as they shut out the 100 Mile House Wranglers.
This was the first meeting between the Wranglers and Nitros since the 2016 KIJHL Finals, where the Wranglers went on to win the series and then capture gold at the Cyclone Taylor Cup.
The Dynamiters arrived late on the bus, travelling straight from Kimberley to Kamloops Friday, and their bus legs showed on the Olympic sized ice rink in the first period.
Head coach and general manager Derek Stuart said that the team had to make some minor adjustments to the wider ice surface, and added, “our team is fit for this ice. Our speed and puck movement took over.”
Despite playing a larger ice surface and the bus legs, the Nitros were able to score the lone goal in the first period, as Keegan McDowell scored on a breakaway.
In the second, the Nitros came to play. Fifty-six seconds into the period Chase Gedny gave the Nitros a 2-0 lead. Brock Palmer would then score back-to-back goals, 10 minutes apart. The Nitros had a commanding lead, 4-0, as the second finished.
In the third Erik Delaire would add one more tally, and Adam Andersen would stop three more shots to earn his first shut this season, and of his KIJHL career.
“It’s nice obviously. It was fairly easy.” Andersen said. “It was a great night, all the guys were going. They made it easy for me.”
Delaire’s successes has been overshadowed by the performance of other players, but he was able to score a goal at the showcase, but downplayed the importance of game.
“I tried not to worry about it as a showcase, it was just a regular season game, and tried to play it as every day.” Delaire said, “I don’t think the showcase got to anyone, we just played Nitros hockey.”
Palmer, with five points in the game, was named the Home Star of the Game.
After the game, as was the goal of the KIJHL College Showcase, both head coach and assistant coach met with scouts from several different colleges/universities.
“For us, we made it clear that we are here to showcase our team, not any individuals. But by doing that they will get individual accolades and attention,” Stuart said. “Tonight was a perfect job of that.
“They have talked to some players that they are interested in, whether it be for next year or for two years down the road. I’m sure we will have more scouts talking to our guys tomorrow.”
It’s a quick turn around for the Nitros, as they have a 1pm (Kamloops local time) game against the Osoyoos Coyotes.
MATCH STICKS: Kole Halvorson made an animated debut with the team, and Stuart was impressed with his play. The Nitros dressed seven defencemen and 11 forwards due to Ryan Bennett being injured, Spencer Kennedy is suspended, and Brandt Bertoia is with his family.