The Kimberley Dynamiters open their seven-game playoff series against the Fernie Ghostriders tonight.
The Riders and Nitro’s are familiar opponents having played each other eight times during the regular season. The teams split the series 4-4, with both teams being 3-1 at home and 1-3 on the road. The Riders just edged the Dynamiters in scoring, 32-31.
Despite a 12-point difference in the standings in favor of the Nitro’s, this series is lining up to be one of the KIJHL’s most evenly matched first round series. Not to mention a fan favourite.
Both teams enter the playoffs after defeating the league leading Beaver Valley Nitehawks. Both are on winning streaks. Both teams have leading scorers that just passed the 50-point plateau, Chase Miller with 51 while Fernie’s Mitch Titus has 52. And both teams sport save percentages of 0.898. Just to name a few of the evenly matched statistics.
With all this excitement, head coach and general manager Derek Stuart knows that finding the motivation to play Fernie will come naturally.
“The motivation shouldn't be a problem at all. There are a few things that Fernie does really well that we need to be aware of and try to stop. There is not going to be any surprises come Friday, we need to play our game.”
Stuart knows that the teams are evenly matched, but added, “it is a new season starting now, we are 0-0 right now… Anything that happens in the regular season is out the window now.”
It is with the clean-slate mentality and confidence that the Dynamiters begin their pursuit of their third KIJHL final appearance in a row.
They start their pursuit tonight and tomorrow for games one and two at the Kimberley Civic Centre at 7p.m., before going to Fernie for games three and four on Monday and Tuesday and 7:30p.m.