The Kimberley Dynamiters went into Invermere up 2-0 in the best of seven game series against the Columbia Valley Rockies.
The Dynamiters came out in a flurry in game three, firing a whopping 23 shots in the opening 20 minutes, but Rockies Ben Kelsch sealed the net for the first period. The Rockies also opened the scoring, and had their first lead of the series.
The Rockies held onto their lead until Nitro's Chase Gedny tied the game at one with a power play goal. The Nitro's got their second power play goal of the period from Mason Palaga.
In the third, the Nitro's added to their lead with a goal from Bryce McDonald.
The Nitro's would win 3-1, despite outshooting the Rockies 49-21. Head coach and general manager Derek Stuart felt that the team didn't bear down on their chances, he said by his count, the Nitro's had more than 20 chances, yet only scored three goals. He felt the team should have had more.
Cody Campbell made 20 saves, and Palaga was named the Away Star of the game.
The Dynamiters now held a 3-0 strangle hold on the series, and needed one more win to advance to the Kootenay Conference Finals.
The Nitro's had also established a pattern, a 5-1 win in Game One, 4-1 in Game Two, and 3-1 in Game Three, would Game Four be 2-1?
In a curious move, the Dynamiters started Adam Andersen in net. Stuart had explained in the past, that Andersen has become a '1B' goalie for the team, and he felt that it was time Andersen played in his first KIJHL playoff game.
Andersen did not disappoint. He made fantastic saves. The Rockies Davin Burton was able to sneak one past Andersen early in the first, but that was it.
Andersen even made one save in particular in the first that the goal judge, and webcast thought was in, but it wasn't. Stuart says that, that save helped motivate the team.
It was the second game in a row where the Rockies 'won' the opening period.
The Nitro's struggled to get shots and chances in the middle period, and continued to trail 1-0.
In the third, the Dynamiters began firing everything they had on Kelsch. But as was the struggle the night before, the Nitro's couldn't finish their chances.
The Rockies firmly held on to their one goal and shut out the Nitro's.
Andersen was named the Away Star making 19 saves in the loss, while the Rockies Kelsh was the Home Star making 34 saves, and being recognized as Hot in the KIJHL.
It has been a long time since the Nitro's were shut out in the playoffs, having to go back to the 2015 playoffs in Game Four against the Kamloops Storm, where they 4-0; but then went on to win the series in six games for the KIJHL title.
"It felt weird." Stuart said, as he recalled the rarity it is being shutout.
However, he says that his team is ready, and is looking for a strong start to the opening period in Game Five, because they don't want to play Tuesday in Invermere.
Game Five is Monday night at 7:30 at the Kimberley Civic Centre.