Sunday, 23 October 2016

Kimberley Dynamiters continue their winning ways

The Kimberley Dynamiters continued their hot streak, winning their third and fourth games in a row as they bounced both the Grand Forks Border Bruins and the Spokane Braves from the Kimberley Civic Centre.

Up first was the Border Bruins. The Dynamiters exploded from the drop of the first puck, scoring four goals in the first period alone.

“That was probably the best start we have had to a game this season,” said Dynamiters head coach and general manager Derek Stuart. However, he cautioned: “It’s real tough whether you are a professional or a junior aged player to keep your mind on the task at hand when you are up 4-0 that early. They start thinking that it is point night, and don’t do what they are supposed to do.”

The Dynamiters kept pressing scoring an additional three goals in the middle frame to give them a 7-0 lead over the Border Bruins heading into the third.

It was in the third where the Border Bruins got under the skin of the Dynamiters.

“It’s hard staying focused in a game where you get up early and are playing the dirtiest team in our conference.”

A whopping 117 minutes’ worth of penalties were called at the 13:52 minute mark of the third.

The Bruins did score a power-play goal, but the Nitro’s responded quickly. Then the Border Bruins scored another two quick goals within ten seconds, before the Nitro’s responded in the last minute.

The Dynamiters finished the game with a 9-3 blowout win over the Border Bruins.

James Rota, the 17-year-old local talent and home star of the game said “We started out really strong. We were on them right away. Near the end we let up a bit. But we finished strong with a goal at the end.” Rota earned one goal, his first of the season, and the eventual game winner, plus he added three assists on the night.

“It was awesome, it was my first of the year.” Rota said. “I’m pretty happy to finally get one. I was just excited to get one. Being the game winning goal, that’s always nice bonus.”

Stuart said of Rota: “He had a great game. He was definitely one of our most valuable players tonight. His whole line was our best line, Hozjan and Colapaolo.”

Cody Lassiter, the new addition from Bassano, AB, played his first game as a Dynamiter. “He did very well. For him to step in like that and be that calm with the puck and make that many good decisions with the puck. He was very impressive.”

Dawson Creek, BC, native, Mitch Traichevich, made 29 saves for his sixth win of the season.

The Dynamiters then focused their attention on battling the visiting Spokane Braves.

The Dynamiters came out with a flash early again, scoring within the first minute.

“I thought we started out great in the first 5-6 minutes.” Stuart said. “I believe in the first four minutes we had nine shots on net, and ended the period with 13. It went down hill from there.”

“We were pretty lackluster. Lazy with the puck. Lazy getting to loose pucks.

“I don’t know if our heads are getting a little too big or that early goal put thoughts in guys’ heads that this was going to be an easy night. They should know that nothing comes easy against Spokane, because I think they are better than their record shows.”

Chase Miller, an 18-year-old from Calgary, AB, said: “We had a lot of turnovers in our own end, and we were just trying to be pretty with the puck instead of just getting deep and grinding it out in their end.”

The Braves were always within striking distance as they continually made plays out of nothing.

“I thought we let them hang around for far too long,” Stuart said, “and gave them a chance to be in this game, and gave them hope.”

It wasn’t until the midway of the third that the Dynamiters started to pull away to earn their fourth win in a row with a 6-2 victory.

“The book ends were good. The middle was not good.”

“Hopefully it is a wakeup call for us, even though it was a win. I don’t think we were very good tonight.”

Cody Campbell from Calgary, AB, started his first game as a Dynamiter and earned his first win the KIJHL with a 21 save performance.

“Campbell was good. I thought he was very composed and he made a couple big saves. His first game with a new team in a new league he did very well.”

Franco Colapaolo, also from Calgary, AB, continues to be a hard-working force for the Dynamiters as he scored two of the three third period goals.

“Colapaolo is definitely a leader, he wears a letter for a reason. With some help from his line mates he took over the third period and willed those pucks into the net. He used his speed and went to the net with his stick on the ice. Simple things that every player can do.”

Chase Miller was the start of the game as he distributed the puck well earning three assists in front of family for the Dynamiters Family weekend game.

“I had lots of family here. It was awesome having them all out here.

“It was a good night. I was working the puck well.

“It wasn’t our prettiest game, but got the win and that’s what matters at the end of the night”

Looking back on the current four game winning streak, the Dynamiters have now scored 29 goals, while being scored on nine times.

“Last four, the results look great.” Stuart said.

“The nine against is a huge sign of how we have been playing the defensive zone. If we can keep that up, we can get a lot of wins. Especially in a league like this where it is tough to score goals.”

Despite winning nine of their past ten, Stuart says, “Now we put it behind us and look forward to Nelson Friday.”

Photo's by Jonathan Righton

Check it out in the Kimberley Bulletin/Cranbrook Townsman

Saturday, 22 October 2016

It's Game Day! Kimberley Dynamiters vs Spokane Braves

Kimberley DynamitersvsSpokane Braves
2ndDivision Standing5th
3rd (4.75)Offence (GFA)14th (2.87)
3rd (2.25)Defence (GAA)18th (5.07)
0.921Goaltending (SV%)0.897
7th (20.63%)Power PlayT-12th (15.38%)
3rd (88.71%)Penalty Kill13th (79.79%)
3rdPower Ranking16th
9-1-0-0Last 103-7-0-0
Korbyn Chabot (10G-8A)Top ScorerPaxton Malone (9G-14A)
 James Farmer (3G-11A)2nd Top ScorerMason Jones (6G-17A)
Franco Colapaolo (6G-7A)3rd Top ScorerCarter Jones (7G-9A)
Ryan Hozjan (36)PIM LeaderMason Jones (45)

Friday, 21 October 2016

It's Game Day! Kimberley Dynamiters vs Grand Forks Border Bruins

Kimberley DynamitersvsGrand Forks Border Bruins
2ndDivision Standing3rd
4th (4.36)Offence (GFA)3rd (4.42)
3rd (2.18)Defence (GAA)15th (3.67)
0.946Goaltending (SV%)0.901
7th (21.31%)Power Play4th (22.62%)
3rd (88.68%)Penalty Kill7th (84.52%)
3rdPower Ranking7th
9-1-0-0Last 105-3-1-1
Korbyn Chabot (8G-8A)Top ScorerDylan Haney (8G-11A)
James Farmer (2G-10A)2nd Top ScorerTrey Mason (9G-10A)
 Franco Colapaolo (5G-6A)3rd Top ScorerChad Grambo (7G-10A)
Ryan Hozjan (34)PIM LeaderBrady Berger; Dylan Haney (54)

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Nitro’s add two players as they prepare for the weekend rematches

After back-to-back 7-2 wins this past weekend in Spokane and Grand Forks, the Kimberley Dynamiters have a rematch against the Braves and Border Bruins in their own barn as they come to town.

“We know that they will come in here hungry.” Said head coach and general manager Derek Stuart. “Especially since both teams lost games last weekend.”

The Grand Forks Border Bruins (5-4-2-1) come to Kimberley on a three game losing streak. However, they still boast two of the KIJHL’s leading scorers in Trey Mason and Dylan Haney.

The Spokane Braves (4-10-0-0) enter the weekend losing their past four in a row. They too have an offensive punch with their top two scorers, Paxton Malone and Mason Jones, leading the league in points.

“We know a little bit more about them after seeing them first hand.” Says Stuart “There are a few things we may work on in practice. Most of our practice will be touching up things that we need to improve and focus mainly on ourselves.”

The Dynamiters are winners of their past two, and nine of their last ten, and enter the weekend as one of the hottest teams in the league.

Stuart credits the teams’ success to its depth, “With the depth we have, everyone is getting a fair chunk of ice time. Everyone is relishing in their roles and finding ways to contribute, or an opportunity to contribute every game.

“We are going with the guys each individual game that are producing or playing the way we want them to that game. The guys really appreciate that, and they are relishing the opportunity that they have every game.”

However, he feels there is one area of improvement: “We need to improve our puck management in the offensive zone. We need to hold onto pucks a bit longer and protect them until we have a play; really focusing on moving the puck in the offensive zone when we want to instead of being forced to.”

Prior to this weekend’s games, Stuart shuffled the roster up a bit. “We viewed it as an opportunity to improve our team, any chance we have to improve ourselves, we are going to do it.”

The Dynamiters added goaltender Cody Campbell (’98). The Calgary native started the season as back up for the Canmore Eagles (AJHL).

“He is very mobile and athletic. Has some good size. He has some experience as well; he took his Midget AAA team all the way to the Telus Cup two years ago. In any situation he won’t panic.”

Campbell played last season with the Grand Prairie Storm Midget AAA. In 19 games he posted a .905 save percentage. He also dressed one game with the AJHL Grand Prairie Storm.

To make room for Campbell on the roster, the Nitro’s sent goaltender Ruslan Katsnelson (’97) to the Golden Rockets.

Then the Dynamiters added another Cody to the roster, defenseman Cody Lassiter (’96), acquiring him from the Princeton Posse.

“The trade with Lassiter, a 20 year old defenceman, addresses a hole that we felt we had as a team and that we would like to add and the opportunity arose.”

Lassiter, from Bassano, Alberta, was serving as captain for the Posse, he brings leadership and experience to the team.

“He’s a bigger defenceman. He’s not flashy but he is very mobile, reliable, and smart with the puck.

“He is in his third year with the league, so he knows the league, and how to play the game. He will add to our top four defence.”

The roster moves, Stuart feels, “It improves our overall depth and experience. It makes us harder to play against.”

The Dynamiters host the Border Bruins Friday at the Civic Centre at 7p.m., followed by the Braves on Saturday at 7p.m.

MATCH STICKS: The Dynamiters currently carry a full roster of 25. However, 23 are playable as Bryce Salverda and Connor Kendall remain sidelined to injury.

Check it out in the Kimberley Bulletin/Cranbrook Townsman

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

KIJHL Goaltender Rankings - October 2016

Last season a popular post was ranking the KIJHL goalies. It's early in the season, and some teams are still trying to identify their #1 goalie as the trickle down effect continues.

I can't rank every goalie that has played a single game because that would skew the numbers (too small a sample size to reflect performance), so to be included in this list a goalie needs to have played 1/3 of the season. The average KIJHL team has played 11.6 games to this date. That means a goalie needs to have appeared in four games or more to be included in this list.

This means that the following goalies who have won 100% of their games but played three or less games did not make the list:
  • Liam Aitken - Osoyoos Coyotes
  • Patrick Ostermann - Creston Valley Thunder Cats
  • Jared Breitkruz - Summerland Steam
  • Devin Allen - Nelson Leafs
As the season wears on, the 1/3 of the games will be the bench mark until 1/3 = 10 games.

Just a break down of the stats analyzed:
  • Win percentage
  • Goals against average
  • Save percentage
  • TOTAL = the sum of the ranked categories. Top 20 goalies are ranked in each category, the goalie who is ranked 1st gets 20 points, while the goalie ranked 20th gets 1 point.
Finally, here are the Top KIJHL goaltenders through to today (click on image to make larger):

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

KIJHL Power Rankings - October 18, 2016

It's that time for another Power Ranking of the KIJHL teams.

Disclaimer: The stats analysis is only as good as the stats being kept (which I realize are volunteers and I appreciate all they do)

There has been a lot of movement since last month. There are two new columns this month:
  • LM Total - this is the Power Rankings Total score from the month previous
  • Diff - is the positive or negative difference since the last ranking.
  • The Creston Valley Thunder Cats maintain their top position, but they are no longer first in every category, so the Osoyoos Coyotes were able to catch them and both are tied for first.
  • The Hottest teams (those with the largest difference increase) is the Fernie Ghostriders, then the Beaver Valley Nitehawks, and then the North Okanagan Knights with the Kimberley Dynamiters hot on their heals
  • Coldest teams (those with the greatest loss in points) are the Castlegar Rebels, Spokane Braves, and then Revelstoke Grizzlies with the Grand Forks Border Bruins just ahead of them.
  • The Sicamous Eagles, who have yet to win a game, maintain the last spot.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Kimberley Dynamiters dominant during weekend road trip

The Kimberley Dynamiters played another weekend on the road, this time visiting two offensively talented teams, the Spokane Braves and the Grand Forks Border Bruins.

Head coach and general manager Derek Stuart felt that there was excitement about crossing the border into the United States, and that the short stop at the border allowed them to be prepared for the Spokane Braves.

“We started out really well, I think that was a big boost to our guys.”

The Dynamiters took a quick 2-0 lead with goals from Ryan Hozjan and Korbyn Chabot. But the pesky Braves wouldn’t go away as they tied the game by the midway point of the second.

“Give credit Spokane,” Stuart said “they worked hard and they competed hard.”

Then after that, the Nitro’s turned it on scoring five goals in the remaining 30 minutes of the game.

“The guys overpowered Spokane as a team as the game wore on. They took over the game halfway through the second period.

“I think in the end our depth and our speed was just too much.”

What helped launch the Dynamiters past the Braves was their power play.

“Our power play was really great in Spokane. We were moving the puck well.

“We were not just standing around watching, but moving around without the puck, which was a big key as well.”

Chabot gave the Dynamiters a 3-2 lead. Then Tyler Van Steinburg scored his first of the season to give the Nitro’s a 4-2 lead after two.

The Dynamiters kept pushing as Caige Sterzer, and Franco Colapaolo (twice) scored in the third giving the Dynamiters a 7-2 win.

Cranbrook native Chabot finished the game with three points; two goals and an assist.

“Chabot was a physical force as usual. When he get’s a chance to let his shot go or drive the net with his size and force, it creates opportunities to score.”

Colapaolo from Calgary notched two goals as he continues to lead by example.

“Everything Colapaolo gets points wise is a result of his hard work. We expected a really good game from him, and we got that. He got rewarded again from working hard.”

By the end of the night, Stuart was pleased with the defensive effort of his team. “For us to hold them to two goals with such a high scoring first line and a really good power play. We did a really good job defensively against their top line.”

The Dynamiters then had to cross the border back into Canada after spending the night in Spokane to face-off against the Grand Forks Border Bruins.

The Border Bruins had two familiar faces on their roster, Connor Sullivan and Dontae Nowell, who were both sent to the Bruins when the Nitro’s roster became crowded in late September. “For the coaching staff it was irrelevant.” Stuart said “I know some of the players talk to the guys. They are both good kids, it was a numbers thing for moving them.

“We respect them both very much, and they competed like they always do. For the players it may have had a little more of an effect.”

Heading into the game, Grand Forks was leading the league in penalty minutes, and Stuart wanted to make sure the players didn’t get drawn into a penalty filled match.

“We addressed that before in the meeting: stay out of the stuff after the whistle, play with our speed and depth, and they will eventually take penalties – which is what happened.”

By the end of the game, the Bruins collected 88 minutes’ worth of penalties.

This gave the Dynamiters ample chances on the power play and a lot of ice to work with. Eleven different Nitro’s had at least one point as they went on to beat the Bruins 7-2.

“Sterzer was one of our better players.” Staurt recalled. “He played physical and he got involved.” Sterzer earned three assists by the end of the night.

Chase Miller also played well on the power play earning two assists.

“When we are set up on the power play, Miller is one of the guys we want with the puck to get the power play going. He is distributing the puck really well.”

One of the benefactors of the passing from Sterzer and Miller was Garreth Osmar.

“Osmar finally got to a spot where he could use his shot. He has one of the better shots on our team, just hasn’t been able to find the areas where he could let them go.

“Both his goals came from walking off the wall with speed and power; and getting to spot within the slot where he could use his shot.”

Osmar said, “It was great to finally find the back of the net and to help the team come out with the win.”

An unheralded star amongst the offensive output is goaltender Mitch Traichevich. He turned aside 55 of the 59 shots he faced this weekend. Amongst goalies that have played five or more games, Traichevich has a KIJHL leading 1.63 GAA and .946 SV%.

“Traichevich was good. He was a little shaky at the start of both games. It is something that he admits. He will have to address and fix himself. After the first five minutes of both games he was excellent. He has kept us in games, and gives a chance to win. Which is all you can ask for from a goalie.”

All in all, Stuart is really impressed with his squads’ performance.

“For us the stat we like to pride ourselves on is goals against, and to hold two teams with offensive threats to two goals, speaks to how committed we were to playing defense.

“On the attack, we just kept coming. It was good to see in both games we went on the attack until the end of the game, we didn’t slow up or let down. We had a lead and kept attacking.”

MATCH STICKS: The Kimberley Dynamiters have added goaltender Cody Campbell (’98). Campbell started the season with the Canmore Eagles (AJHL). Ruslan Katsnelson (’97) is being moved, but details were not available at time of print.

Check it out in the Kimberley Bulletin/Cranbrook Townsman