Monday, 20 March 2017

Kimberley Dynamiters split series opener in Fruitvale

The Kimberley Dynamiters opened the Kootenay Conference series with a split against the Beaver Valley Nitehawks.

Game one was played on Friday, and heavily favoured the home-town Beaver Valley Nitehawks. The Nitehawks scored two lucky goals very early. They would then score their third of the game on a deflated Nitro’s team with 2:21 left in the first.

“We weren't very good in the first and had a couple of unlucky bounces end up in our net. The game was 1-1 after that.” Head coach and general manager Derek Stuart said. “However, against a team like Beaver Valley one bad period can cost you a game.”

The Nitro’s would slow the Nitehawks relentless pace in the second before trading goals in the third. Brandt Bertoia would be the Nitro’s only goal scorer, falling 4-1 to the Nitehawks.

Cody Campbell, despite being pulled after Beaver Vlley’s fourth goal, made 32 saves and was named the away star of the game.

The Dynamiters regrouped, and prepared for game two.

Even though the Nitehawks held a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes, the Dynamiters played a strong opening period.

“It was excellent at the start of the game. We got back to the mentality of focusing on your next shift, and nothing else.” Stuart said.

“It was a big improvement, everything from the preparation, to the execution, to the communication.”

The Nitro’s would then storm back in the second. Nolan Kurylo would score on the power play to tie the game, and Nic Herringer would score with 70 seconds left in the second to give the Dynamiters a 2-1 lead.

Franco Colapaolo would give the Nitro’s a 3-1 lead as he potted an empty net goal. The Nitehawks wouldn’t go away, scoring with 31 seconds left to make it 3-2. And that’s how the game would end.

Campbell was once again named the away star turning aside 26 of 28 shots.

The Dynamiters took Sunday as a long travel day. Stuart said from the Kootenay Lake Ferry that the team needs a rest.

“We [need to] have our rest, because we really need to continue to use our speed. They had a tough time handling our speed and quickness, if we can continue to do that on our big ice it will bode well for us.”

He added that “We are excited to get home and be in front of our crowd and on our ice.”

The last time the Nitehawks were in the Kimberley Civic Centre was March 21, 2016, game five of the Kootenay Conference finals. Just over 1,100 fans watched the Nitro’s win 3-1 and advance to the KIJHL finals.

Games three and four of the series are Tuesday and Wednesday at 7p.m. at the Kimberley Civic Centre, with game five back in Fruitvale if needed.

MATCH STICKS: The Osoyoos Coyotes won 6-5 in double OT on Sunday to take a 2-0 series lead over the Chase Heat in the Okanagan/Shuswap Conference Finals. 

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