Monday, 30 January 2017

Difficult January ends for the Kimberley Dynamiters

The Kimberley Dynamiters completed their first three game weekend. The results were much the same as they have been for entire month of January: a win bookended by two losses. The Dynamiters lost 5-3 to the Fernie Ghostriders on Thursday, then won in over-time 6-5 against the Columbia Valley Rockies, before losing 4-3 to the Creston Valley Thunder Cats on Saturday. Giving the Nitro’s a record of 3-6 for the month.

“We are happy January is over, that's for sure. It wasn't the ideal month. Basically, it boils down to inconsistency.” Head coach and general manager Derek Stuart said. “Even with the inconsistency, five of the six games we lost were close games that we had a chance to win.

“That is encouraging as a coach. We weren't playing our best hockey but still had opportunities to win games against top teams”

Following the loss on Thursday to the Ghostriders, the Dynamiters travelled to Invermere to face the Rockies. The first 20 minutes was a nightmare for the Nitro’s as the Rockies took a commanding 3-1 lead. The lone goal was a flutter point shot by George Bertoia.

“They are a lot harder to play in their arena then they seem to be in ours.” Stuart said. “They have definitely improved [since the start of the season].

“They came out hard in the first period and we did the opposite. After the first 20, we were really good.”

The Dynamiters began righting the ship as Chase Miller and Cody Lassiter, his first as a Nitro, would chip in goals. But the Rockies would hold onto a 4-3 lead after 40 minutes.

The Nitro’s came soaring out in the third scoring two quick goals by Nolan Kurylo and Brandt Bertoia, edging themselves a 5-4 lead. But with exactly eight minutes left the Rockies tied it at five.

It took 3-on-3 overtime for the teams to solve the game, as Joe Karpyshyn would score the winner.

The Cody’s shared the net, with Call making eight saves, and Campbell making 17 stops.

The Dynamiters then focused their attention the eighth and final meeting against the Thunder Cats, a last attempt to try to inch closer to top spot in the Eddie Mountain Division.

The Dynamiters would learn quickly in this game, that it was Creston Valley Thunder Cats Paxton Malone’s night. Malone opened the scoring, then Karpyshyn tied it. Malone scored again, and then Franco Colapaolo tied the game.

It would be in the second period that Cats Malone wasn’t in on a goal, to take a 3-2 lead – and the Nitro’s did not have a response, until the third period.

Brandon Langridge would tie the game with 4:47 left in the third, and everyone felt the game was going to overtime, except Malone, who would score his third goal of the game 42 seconds later. The Dynamiters would pull out all of their tricks, but to no avail, as the Cats would hang on to their 4-3 lead and win the game.

Campbell made 21 saves in front of the 614 in attendance.

After the game, Stuart felt that the Nitro’s need to cash in on their chances, “We need to bear down on our chances. We had many opportunities to score more goals than we did.”

With January ending, Stuart feels his squad is beginning to focus more because the playoffs are closer to today then the holiday break. It’s important to remember that the Dynamiters had a second 10-day break after the Fernie series.

“We are getting better,” he said, “I believe the way we are playing is becoming more consistent.

“The guys are starting to buckle down. We can now focus on our next opponent.”

The Nitro’s next opponent is the Fernie Ghostriders, this Friday, followed by a trip to Golden to face the Rockets on Saturday.

MATCH STICKS: Chase Miller, Garreth Osmar, and James Rota are all listed as day-to-day. Tyler Van Steinburg is only available now for home games due to a full course schedule at College of the Rockies. Chase Miller registered his team leading 50th point.

Photo by Jonathan Righton
Check it out in the Kimberley Bulletin/Cranbrook Townsman

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