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Round 3 tied after Dynamiters lose two games on the road against Nelson Leafs

Intense playoff schedule contributing to increased injury frequency, head coach says
Two losses and yet another injury in on the road playoff action for the Kimberley Dynamiters. Tyler Harper, Nelson Star photo.

After a strong start, the Kimberley Dynamiters find themselves tied with the Nelson Leafs at two games a piece in round three of the KIJHL playoffs following back-to-back losses on the road.

“Game three they kicked our ass basically and game four I thought we had chance to win, we were much better than we were in game three, but still didn’t do enough of the things required to win a playoff game in a good team’s rink,” said head coach, general manager Derek Stuart.

The Leafs’ home-ice advantage definitely played a factor in their first win over the Nitros, beating them 4-1, the same score in the previous game when the Dynamiters made the series 2-0.

“They came out hard, forechecked really hard in game three,” Stuart added. “Game four, no it wasn’t a factor anymore, we just didn’t find a way to score and didn’t do enough good things to create scoring chances.

“In my opinion we weren’t making hard for them in their zone nearly enough like we were in the first two games. We out shot them in both games, but they definitely out chanced us in both games, their goalie made a lot of easy, routine saves.”

Beyond how either team performed, however, the inevitable fatigue from playing so many games in such a short period of time — 17 and 20 in 30 days for Kimberley and Nelson, respectively — is not only affecting gameplay, but is resulting in increased injuries, Stuart said.

So far in the playoffs the Dynamiters have lost Carter Spring to a broken leg, Ty Smith to a broken ankle and now Conner Furukawa to an injured knee after this weekend.

READ MORE: Leafs fall flat as Dynamiters start round three with back-to-back wins

“That’s basically it for season-ending injuries, but I think in terms of injuries it’s having an effect on every team,” Stuart said. “We play a ridiculous amount of games in a short time and guys are getting hurt. It’s something that I’ve said before has got to change, but they have injuries as well, it’s not just us.

“It’s crazy, it’s absolutely insane what we’re making these young kids do, playing this many games in such a short period of time. It’s insane, I can’t believe that it’s actually happening.”

And now after suffering two losses and yet another injury, the Dynamiters are staring down the barrel of a game in Kimberley on Monday, March 21, a game in Nelson on Tuesday and another game back in Kimberley on Wednesday.

As young as they are and having faced as much as they have this season, the team has showed incredible resilience throughout, and they will have to continue to do so in order to finish out these playoffs victoriously.

“I told the guys after the game, let the sting hurt for the rest of the night and when we woke up yesterday it’s a brand new day,” Stuart said. “Based on what I talked to them this morning the guy look pretty ready to go and pretty excited I think, hope to come out ready to go tonight.”

The Puck drops for game seven at the Civic Centre at 7 p.m. on Monday, Mar. 21.


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About the Author: Paul Rodgers

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