The Kimberley Dynamiters had two home games this past weekend, one on Friday against the Columbia Valley Rockies, and another on Sunday versus the Spokane Braves. They won both. And in doing so, they may well have laid to rest any concerns Head Coach and General Manager Derek Stuart had about defence, as they outscored their opponents 10 – 1.
“It wasn’t so much concern, as getting the boys to focus on defence,” Stuart said Monday. “When we do focus on defence, we are tough to beat, and they really did their jobs this weekend.”
On Friday, the score was 6-1, with league scoring leading Brock Palmer scoring twice, and Keegan McDowell, Cam Russell, Jett Saharchuk and Jack Verstraete all getting a single goal.
On Sunday, the Dynamiters outscored the Spokane Braves 4 -0, with two goals by Cam Russell, and one each from Daniel Anton and Beau Larson. Palmer got two assists to keep his league lead in scoring almost 20 points ahead of his nearest competitor. Brock has 93 points with two more games to go. His closest competitor is Reid Wilson of the Nelson Leafs, with 74 points.
At present, they sit one game behind Revelstoke with 79 points.
“We have a game in hand,” Stuart said. “Revelstoke only has one game left and we have two. If we win both our games this weekend, we finish first.”
The Dynamiters have already clinched the division and conference titles. There is only the league title left to decide.
Stuart says the only advantage to winning the league title, aside from pride in the accomplishment, is in home ice advantage, should Revelstoke and Kimberley both make it to the final round.
“There a lot of work to be done and a lot of things have to happen before that,” he said.
Game one of round one (the division semi-final playoff round) is scheduled to start Friday, February 28th, 2020. Teams finishing first and second in their division are the hosts for games 1 and 2.
At present, the most likely opponent for the Nitros is Creston, although Stuart says the opponent doesn’t really matter.
“We have no preference as to who we play,” he said. “We’re pretty confident in our game right now.”
The Dynamiters finish the season this weekend with two home games against Creston and Grand Forks.