The Kimberley Dynamiters earned a 2-0 victory in their lone game of the weekend, defeating the Golden Rockets in a tightly fought road game on Saturday night.
“We weren’t very good in the first half of the game,” said Head Coach and General Manager Derek Stuart. “[Then] there was some good spurts in the second and [by] the third we really took it to them, and got rewarded for sticking it out.”
Nitros goaltender Mitch Traichevich, who was starting his first game since the home opener on September 9, earned a shutout in the win.
“It was my first game back and I really wanted to show that I could be the guy for the team. I had to prove something to myself throughout the game, and I am pretty happy with it.
“It’s a long year [though, so] I can’t be too happy with it. I know I am the returning vet. It is my job to make those kind of saves in the game so the boys can count on me. I wasn’t too high about it.”
Coach Stuart was impressed by Traichevich’s play, saying that without him the game could have easily been over in the second period.
“He was excellent [and] kept us in the game in the first,” Stuart said. “He made key saves on their powerplay [and] he kept us in it long enough for us to get the first one.”
The first goal was scored by George Bertoia in the third period, who was skating in his first game since returning to the Nitros last week. Bertoia also sustained a broken nose in the second period but continued to play.
“George is a warrior [and] he he stuck it out,” Stuart said. “We are glad that he did, he was a great player for us. Credit to him, he chose to continue [and] he got rewarded in the third period for sticking around.
“The whole team felt a little bit bigger and a little more confident with him on the ice.”
When the goal was scored, there was a sigh of relief from the Dynamiters bench.
“Their goalie was great all night, he made some great saves in the second and some really big ones in the third,” Stuart commented on the opposition’s play. “It was [a relief] when [Bertoia] got the first one. The coaching staff told the players to keep going after them.”
For a game that had been even for 57 minutes, it only took the Dynamiters another 20 seconds to score their second goal when Chase Miller beat the Golden goaltender on what Stuart described as “an unbelievable individual effort.”
Although Traichevich was credited with 23 saves in his shutout performance, he said it was really a team effort.
“Honestly, I got a shut out, and that’s what people are talking about, but the boys made it really easy for me, keeping shots to the outside,” he said. “I am really happy with how we played defensively [and] we got the win, that’s all that matters.”
The Kimberley Dynamiters host the Golden Rockets in a rematch on Tuesday at 7pm at the Civic Centre.
Stuart is looking forward to the rematch. “Hopefully [we] carry our third period into practice and that will hopefully go into the game on Tuesday.”
MATCH STICKS: George Bertoia is not expected to be sidelined with a broken nose. Newcomers Connor Kendall and Drew Van den Busch are expected to make their debuts on Tuesday.