The Kimberley Dynamiters had an explosive weekend, scoring 15 goals enroute to a 7-2 win over the Grand Forks Border Bruins, and an 8-5 win over the Golden Rockets. At the centre of the offensive outburst was Brock Palmer, as he figured in on eight of the goals.
Before the game on Friday, captain Brett Roberts said that the Nitros were looking for revenge against the Border Bruins after losing in Grand Forks the Saturday before.
Nicholas Ketola led the Dynamiters to an explosive opening period, after the emotion of the $7.5 Million donation commitment announcement. He scored two goals within three minutes. Brandt Bertoia, Chase Gedny, and Luke Recchi then added a goal each. After 20 minutes, the Nitro’s had scored five goals on just 12 shots.
“The first period was one of our best,” said head coach and general manager Derek Stuart, “The first period was outstanding.”
It continued to be amazing, as Derian Bamber and James Farmer added the teams sixth and seventh goals. And then it went downhill for the remaining time of the second and third.
“It just went ugly from there. Not exciting at all, pretty boring actually.” Stuart said, “I thought our guys took their foot off the gas.
“To see such a decline in effort in the second, and the care and the attention to detail. I know it is hard when you are up.”
The Border Bruins were able to score two goals past the stagnant Nitro’s, but the Nitro’s still won 7-2, with Cody Campbell making 16 saves for the win.
Attention then turned to the match in Golden.
While Palmer earned three assists against the Border Bruins, it was in Golden were he lit it up. He opened the scoring on a power play goal. But then Golden returned fire, scoring a power play goal. They then took a 2-1 lead over the Nitro’s. Farmer quickly erased the lead tying the game at two, and then Cam Russell helped the Nitro’s escape the first with a 3-2 lead.
In the second period, it was all Palmer, he scored two goals, including his hattrick goal, boosting the Dynamiters to a 5-2 lead.
“They changed up the lines and we gelled really good.” Palmer said of his linemates Russell and Matt Davies.
In the third period, the Nitros took their foot off of the gas, and got to within one.
“The guys built up a lead and then fell asleep,” Stuart said “and took their foot off the gas in the third.”
The Nitros got a jolt when they were on the power play, and Palmer scored his fourth goal of the game. Bertoia would then score in the final minute giving the Dynamiters an 8-5 win over the Golden Rockets.
Adam Andersen turned aside 36 of the 41 shots he faced.
Looking back on the past two games Stuart felt his team needs to be able to play a full 60 minutes, even when they have such a large lead.
“It is tough to keep going when you are up by that many goals. We need to figure out a way to keep going.”
But overall, he was pleased with how the team performed, especially against Golden, as six regulars were out of the lineup due to school, injury, and flu.
This allowed local affiliate player Braiden Koran to be in the lineup.
“Koran was really good,” Stuart said, “he was one of our best players. We have no doubts that he can play, we just couldn’t get him the minutes to develop. We are excited to have him as an affiliate.”
Another player benefiting from the extra ice-time is Moyie defender Lucas Chilton. He didn’t register a point, but he played excellently in his own end.
“Chilton was impressive, he was very good. He has been our best defenceman the past four games, and this month.”
As for Palmer, his eight point weekend has catapulted him into the KIJHL’s top 10 scorers, albeit, just one point ahead of linemate Davies. He sits tied for fifth with 18 points in 10 games.
Palmer said he was not expecting to be in the leagues top scoring, but added that he knows he needs to contribute offensively, “I’m more of an offensive player than anything else. If I am not contributing offensively, I am not contributing at all.”
Palmer is on the shorter side, but he hasn’t let that get in the way of him contributing.
“Lots of the bigger guys, that people think I should be scared of, are too slow.” Palmer said, “I like playing against the bigger ways because you can deke them out in different ways.”
Stuart added, “Our concerns about how he will do against bigger teams in smaller arena’s are long gone now. He has proven himself more than capable.”
After such an explosive weekend, the Dynamiters now prepare themselves for a three-game home-stand starting Thursday against the Nelson Leafs at the Kimberley Civic Centre.