Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Story: Adam Andersen signs with Kimberley Dynamiters

The Kimberley Dynamiters have signed Adam Andersen ('00), a local goaltender and affiliate player from last season.

"We really liked what we saw from Adam last year when played and practiced with us." Said head coach and general manager Derek Stuart. "What we saw from him was not just his goaltending ability, but his attitude, the way he works, he is overall an great kid."

"He performed well in the games he got to play in. His potential as a goaltender and everything else is fantastic."

Signing with  the Nitro's is a dream come true for the hometown goaltender.

"It's huge for me. It's a goal I've had since I was a little kid. Being in Grade 12 and playing for the Dynamiters is something I have always wanted to do."

While statistically speaking, it was a small sample size of two games for Andersen, he had fantastic goaltending numbers and had the best numbers on the team last season. He posted two wins in his two starts while recording a 2.39 goals against average and a .904 save percentage.

For Andersen, he doesn't believe it was his numbers were the reason he was signed.

"I played as well as I could, but I have been practicing with the team for two years now. I was there every week last year. I got to know the coaches and team well. I felt like I was a part of the team. It was working hard in practice that made this come true."

On top of practicing with the Nitro's, Andersen was a goaltender for the Cranbrook Dynamiters, Midget AA, in the South Central Alberta Junior Hockey League. The team lost all 36 of their games. As a result, Andersen was the last line of defence and was peppered with pucks facing more than a shot per minute.

Andersen wants to continue to fulfill his hopes and dreams with the Dynamiters.

"My goal is to be a starter. It is my first year in junior hockey, I am just going to do what I can. If it's available to me, I'll try to take control of it. It's one of my goals, but not what I am expecting to happen. It's a very good league. I'm looking to just play my best, and go from there."

As for the goaltending situation right now for the Nitro's, they still have the rights to Cody Campbell but expect and hope him to move on to Junior A. That currently leaves Andersen and Cody Call manning the crease.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Story: Cooper Page signs with Calgary Canucks (AJHL)

Another Kimberley Dynamiter is moving up to Junior A, this time it is Cooper Page. Page, a Calgary, AB native, has signed with the Calgary Canucks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL).

Page started last season with the Okotoks Oilers (AJHL). The 18 year old registered six goals and seven assists in 32 games before joining the Kimberley Dynamiters at the deadline. He then played 14 games with the Nitro's in the regular season, recording two goals and nine assists, and then scored two goals and eight assists in 17 playoff games.

"Kimberley was an unbelievable experience," Page said of his time with the Nitro's, "coming to Kimberley midway through the season I didn't know what to expect. Everything about it exceeded my expectations, all the way to the atmosphere on game days to the passionate community."

Kimberley Dynamiters head coach and general manager Derek Stuart is excited that Page is moving up.

"We were very fortunate to acquire Cooper last January as he helped us a lot on and off the ice.

"I'm extremely happy that he has found a home with a very strong organization and is back in Junior A where he belongs."

Page himself was elated to have signed.

"Excited is the simplest way to put it. I am very familiar with the coaching staff as they had coached me in past years. Therefor making me that much more exited for the opportunity to play for the Canucks."

He really credits the coaching experience in Kimberley for his successful return to Junior A.

"Kimberley was great stepping stone for me. [Coach Stuart] and the rest of the coaching staff really helped me in different aspects at the game that really helped me improve get to the next level."

Page joins Chase Miller in the AJHL who recently signed with the Calgary Mustangs.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Story: Kimberley Dynamiters sign forward Cam Russell

The Kimberley Dynamiters have signed forward Cam Russell ('99) from Calgary, AB.

Russell spent his past two season with the Northwest Calgary Athletic Association Bruins, playing Midget AA hockey. In 52 games with the team he scored 25 goals and 22 assists while accumulating 74 penalty minutes.

Russell said that there are many reasons that he chose to sign with the Dynamiters, saying that the reputation of the town, the incredible fan base, and the coaching staff, all influenced his decision.

Head coach and general manager Derek Stuart said that Russell is the type of forward who can play any role he is given, whether that is on the top line, on the power play, or on the fourth line. He is a character player, that Stuart feels keeps with the tradition the team has developed.

Russell said of himself: "I like to say I'm really well-rounded centre. You can rely on me on the front-end and back-end, and recently I have been working on my finish."

While Russell served as the captain of the Bruins, Stuart doesn't expect Russell to take an immediate leadership role with the Dynamiters, but to be a player similar to Brandt Bertoia.

However, for Russell the experience serving as the captain last season helped elevate his game, and to lead by example on and off the ice.

Russell is looking forward to moving from Calgary to Kimberley and having a fresh start in the Nitro Nation.

"It's going to be new, it's going to be fun, it's going to be good hockey. I am excited. This is a good opportunity for me to get noticed."

Past Nitro's: Jordan Busch

Jordan Busch played three season with the Kimberley Dynamiters from 2013-16. During that time he played in 146 games, scoring 18 goals and 109 assists, becoming the all-time point leading defenceman in Dynamiters history (11th overall). He also sits fifth overall for assists and eighth for games. He then added six goals and 16 assists in 50 playoff games.

Busch played this past season with the Concordia University of Edmonton. In his freshman year with the team he scored six goals and seven assists in 23 games.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Many changes from the KIJHL AGM, including withdrawal from Keystone Cup

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League held their Annual General Meeting on June 8th and 9th. The meeting was bookended by a KIJHL coaches and general managers meeting on Thursday and the BC Hockey AGM on Saturday.

Kimberley Dynamiters head coach and general manage Derek Stuart said that this years AGM was much more interesting because the coaches and general mangers meeting laid the foundation for the KIJHL AGM.

Stuart said there were two highlights from attending his second KIJHL AGM.

First was that all four playoff series for this coming season will be a best of seven.

"The players and coaches would rather have four best of seven. It was a unanimous vote to bring that back."

The league has set aside 42 days to complete the four rounds of playoffs. A worst case scenario would see a team playing 28 games in 42 days.

Second was the league, and eventually BC Hockey, withdrew from the Keystone Cup.

"Even though I have never been to the Keystone, I have heard enough horror stories to not want to go. Withdrawal from the Keystone is big for our team, league and province."

While no replacement for the Keystone Cup has been determined it is being discussed by a committee. It appears that this may be the end of the Keystone Cup, a tournament that BC has dominated in the past ten years winning seven golds, two silvers and one bronze.

There were several other changes made as well.

The successful Prospects Game will be returning to the KIJHL again this season. The league will be blacking out the schedule during the weekend of the game. Also this year, five 18 year-olds to be allowed on each conference team.

"We thought that it wasn't fair last year, since a lot of the 18 year olds are being recruited to on the basis to play here on year as a stepping stone to get into Junior A"

An All-Star game for the league was tabled, but not pursued.

The controversial no cross-over games will remain for this coming season as it was a two year agreement by the teams and will be reevaluated at the 2018 AGM.

Stuart added that there has been a new way for coaches and officials to work, evaluate and develop together through an online forum. The hope is to be able to recruit more officials.

Stuart feels that all these changes that have been made will make the KIJHL a better product, and a better place to recruit players.

Past Nitro's: Matthew Gann

Matt Gann (#24) played for the Kimberley Dynamiters during the 2012-13 season. As a defenceman he registered five goals and three assists. He then added a goal during four playoff games.

This season he played for the Whitecourt Wild of the North Central Senior Hockey League. In 11 games he scored one goal and three assists. And then went pointless in one playoff game.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Past Nitro's: Owen Solecki

Owen Solecki played for the Kimberley Dynamiters (and a little bit with the Osoyoos Coyotes) during the 2011-12 season. The defenceman scored one goal andd 21 assists during 47 games with the Nitro's. He then added two assists in 13 playoff games.

This season he played for the Edson Ice of the North Central Senior Hockey League. He played in two games going pointless.