Red hot Kimberley Dynamiters keep on winning

JOSH LOCKHART

The Kimberley Dynamiters continue to be red hot in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League winning their seventh and eighth game in a row.

First, the Nitros took their winning streak on the road to Invermere on Friday.

Lucas Chilton opened the scoring in the first period, with his second goal of the season.

Keegan McDowell scored in the second. He continues to be consistent for the Nitros — he has had a point in all but three games since December. In fact, in 41 games this season, he has only been pointless in nine games.

Thirty second into the third period, Brandt Bertoia scored his 14th of the season, tying him with Ryan Duley for 10th in Nitros all-time goal scoring with 55 goals.

The Columbia Valley Rockies scored a lone response goal in the third, to close out the games scoring.

Brett Anderson was named the Away Star of the game, and made 29 saves in his 15th win of the season.

Saturday, the Nitros hosted the Creston Valley ThunderCats. The two teams are separated by more than 50 points in the standings.

The Cats kept the Nitros close on the scoreboard through two periods.

Brady Daniels scored his 11th of the year during a chaotic play to open the scoring.

The ThunderCats tied the game early in the second period, as Aiden Wong, who tried out for the Nitros two years ago (and was cut), scored.

A minute later Spencer Kennedy, who has only been held pointless four times in 31 games, scored, keeping his 12-game point streak alive.

McDowell made it a two goal game, temporarily as the ThunderCats came storming back within one.

In the third, the Nitros penalty kill made up for the under-performing power play by scoring two goals six seconds apart. The first was by Carter Spring, then Neil Kingston scored the other. One second faster, and it would have tied the KIJHL record for fastest two goals. Despite not tying or creating a record, two short handed goals was impressive.

The penalty kill has been a strength for the team, “that is eight in a row without a power play goal against,” head coach and general manager Derek Stuart said. “The guys that go on their are taking a lot of pride on the penalty kill, and working extremely hard.”

When the game ended, Adam Andersen had made 17 saves for his 22nd win of the year.

“It wasn’t our best game of the season,” Andersen said after the game. “We have a lot of things to work on. But good teams find a way to win. I am happy with that.”

Looking back at both games, Stuart feels that his team played just good enough to win both games, even though the team has been practicing how to win close games.

“We can’t keep playing like, but we did what it took to win this weekend.”

One area the Nitros need to improve on is the power play. “I think they are trying to be too cute.” Stuart said. “And trying to do too much instead of being simple.”

The Dynamiters are riding an eight game win streak heading into this weekends games against the Columbia Valley Rockies and the Grand Forks Border Bruins. The key to the Nitro’s success has been defence.

“It boils down to our team commitment to defence.” Stuart said. “And our penalty kill. Those two are the biggest reasons why we are on an eight game winning streak.”

“If we need one, or two, or three goals to win a game each night, I like our chances.”

Friday’s game is at 7:30 p.m. in Invermere, and then 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Kimberley Civic Centre.

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