The Kimberley Dynamiters split their weekend road games, winning 7-2 against the Spokane Braves and losing 4-2 to the Grand Forks Border Bruins.
The Dynamiters arrived 45 minutes later than they would have liked in Spokane, but despite the delay, they were ready to play and played hard said head coach and general manager Derek Stuart.
A mere two minutes into the game, the Nitro's Brock Palmer got their first goal of the game on their first shot of the game. The Braves returned the favor scoring on a breakaway goal, their first shot of the game.
"For a goaltender it is not the ideal situation to have a clear cut breakaway as your first shot on net." Stuart said. "Andersen settled in and shook that off. He calmed down and was totally solid the rest of the way."
Matt Davies would then add two goals in three minutes, with the help of his linemates, Palmer and Nick Ketola.
"I thought we did a good job being first to pucks in their zone and all lines did a really good job moving the puck around." Davies said "That gave us a lot of puck possession which I think was a big part of our success."
As for Ketola, he had three assists in the first period. Playing in Spokane is always a boost for Ketola, because his hometown Mead, Washington, is just north of Spokane.
"It's always good to go home and play in front of family." Ketola said. "Also playing in that rink for so long when I was younger just gives me some comfort on the ice."
The Nitro's finished the first with a 3-1 lead firing an astounding 24 shots.
The second period was a lull, like the eye of a storm, as penalties slowed the pace of the game. As a result, there was no scoring.
The Braves scored 30 seconds into the third cutting into the Nitro's lead. But then the Nitro's poured it on, scoring four more goals, including three power play goals.
"It was our first game using that formation and those units." said Staurt. "In the third they started shooting more instead of looking for the perfect pass."
The benefactors of the shooting were James Farmer, scoring twice, Brandt Bertoia and Brandon Langridge.
The Dynamiters won the game 7-2, and lead in shots 60 to 28. Adam Andersen made 26 saves to earn his second win of the season.
The Nitro's then traveled to Grand Forks to play the Border Bruins. Like in the game against Spokane, it was clustered scoring that would define the game.
The first period was scoreless. It was the second period that cost the Nitro's. The Border Bruins scored three goals in the span of seven minutes.
"We had a ten minute lapse, in terms of mistakes, turnovers, odd man rushes." Stuart said. "That would be ten minutes that we would like to forget. They got three goals in ten minutes, and that was the game."
The Nitro's would add two goals, by Ketola and Chase Gedny, in the third, but it wasn't enough to mount a comeback as the Border Bruins added an empty net goal to seal their 4-2 victory, handing the Nitro's their second loss of the season.
Cody Campbell was in net, and made 27 saves in his first loss of the season.
For Stuart, he felt there was one reason the Nitro's didn't perform well, "Biggest problem was not getting enough bodies on net. We got a lot of shots, but not enough with traffic."
Ketola added, "I think we weren't ready to battle in that game and they came out harder and won more puck battles than us."
The bus ride home from Grand Forks was quiet, Stuart said, as he and the players knew that they didn't perform as well as they could have.
"I felt that we played really soft and timid against Grand Forks." Davies said, "Seemed like we let them dictate the play."
Davies scored two goals and three assists during the weekend, and now leads the Nitro's in scoring with 12 points.
"Honestly it doesn't mean much to me at this point in the season." Davies said. "Obviously it's nice to be able to help out on the score sheet.
"But we got a lot of different guys contributing every night which is which is a big part of the early success we've been able to have."
The Nitro's now look to make up for the road loss against the Border Bruins this Friday as they host Grand Forks at the Kimberley Civic Centre.