Tuesday, 27 September 2016

It's Game Day! Kimberley Dynamiters vs Golden Rockets

Kimberley DynamitersvsGolden Rockets
2ndDivision Standing3rd
12th (3.60)Offence (GFA)18th (2.17)
3rd (2.20)Defence (GAA)5th (2.83)
0.919Goaltending (SV%)0.928
T-12th (17.86%)Power Play14th (14.81%)
8th (82.61%)Penalty KillT-13th (78.79%)
5thPower Ranking11th
4-1-0-0Last 103-3-0-0
Korbyn Chabot (4G-3A)Top ScorerScott Latwat (3G-2A)
Chase Miller (2G-3A)2nd Top ScorerJordan Bautista (3G-0A)
Caige Sterzer (3G-1A)3rd Top ScorerNic Lush (2G-1A)
Donte Nowell (31)PIM LeaderCarter Vouri (32)

Monday, 26 September 2016

Nitro's continue winning ways; Traichevich perfect in Golden weekend

The Kimberley Dynamiters earned a 2-0 victory in their lone game of the weekend, defeating the Golden Rockets in a tightly fought road game on Saturday night.

“We weren’t very good in the first half of the game,” said Head Coach and General Manager Derek Stuart.  “[Then] there was some good spurts in the second and [by] the third we really took it to them, and got rewarded for sticking it out.”

Nitros goaltender Mitch Traichevich, who was starting his first game since the home opener on September 9, earned a shutout in the win.

“It was my first game back and I really wanted to show that I could be the guy for the team. I had to prove something to myself throughout the game, and I am pretty happy with it.

“It’s a long year [though, so] I can’t be too happy with it. I know I am the returning vet. It is my job to make those kind of saves in the game so the boys can count on me. I wasn’t too high about it.”

Coach Stuart was impressed by Traichevich’s play, saying that without him the game could have easily been over in the second period.

“He was excellent [and] kept us in the game in the first,” Stuart said. “He made key saves on their powerplay [and] he kept us in it long enough for us to get the first one.”

The first goal was scored by George Bertoia in the third period, who was skating in his first game since returning to the Nitros last week. Bertoia also sustained a broken nose in the second period but continued to play.

“George is a warrior [and] he he stuck it out,” Stuart said. “We are glad that he did, he was a great player for us. Credit to him, he chose to continue [and] he got rewarded in the third period for sticking around.

“The whole team felt a little bit bigger and a little more confident with him on the ice.”

When the goal was scored, there was a sigh of relief from the Dynamiters bench.

“Their goalie was great all night, he made some great saves in the second and some really big ones in the third,” Stuart commented on the opposition’s play. “It was [a relief] when [Bertoia] got the first one. The coaching staff told the players to keep going after them.”

For a game that had been even for 57 minutes, it only took the Dynamiters another 20 seconds to score their second goal when Chase Miller beat the Golden goaltender on what Stuart described as “an unbelievable individual effort.”

Although Traichevich was credited with 23 saves in his shutout performance, he said it was really a team effort.

“Honestly, I got a shut out, and that’s what people are talking about, but the boys made it really easy for me, keeping shots to the outside,” he said. “I am really happy with how we played defensively [and] we got the win, that’s all that matters.”

The Kimberley Dynamiters host the Golden Rockets in a rematch on Tuesday at 7pm at the Civic Centre.

Stuart is looking forward to the rematch. “Hopefully [we] carry our third period into practice and that will hopefully go into the game on Tuesday.”

MATCH STICKS: George Bertoia is not expected to be sidelined with a broken nose. Newcomers Connor Kendall and Drew Van den Bosch are expected to make their debuts on Tuesday.

Published in the Kimberley Bulletin/Cranbrook Townsman

KIJHL Power Rankings: September 26, 2016


After three weekends of play, the following is the early start to the KIJHL Power Rankings.

Review of categories before some comments:

  • Offence: Ranked goals forced average
  • Defence: Ranked goals against average
  • SpecT: Adding PP% with PK% and then ranked (Scotty Bowman Special Teams Formula)
  • Goalie: Ranked team save percentage
  • TOTAL: Adding the ranking of the previous four categories. The lower the score the better. Closer to 4 is very high efficiency; whereas closer to 80 means deficiencies.

Now some observations:

  • The Creston Valley Thunder Cats are off to an alarmingly hot start, ranking first in every category. They are in a class of their own currently.
  • The Osoyoos Coyotes and Grand Forks Border Bruins are close to each other for 2nd and 3rd.
  • My Kimberley Dynamiters are 5th
  • I picked the Fernie Ghostriders to come first in the division, currently they are ranked 19th
  • Reigning KIJHL Champs, 100 Mile House Wranglers are ranked 14th

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Introducing the Kimberley Dynamiters Captain: Ryan Hozjan

On Thursday September 22, the Kimberley Dynamiters named their captain and assistant captains.

The Captain for the 2016-17 season is Ryan Hozjan (96). The Calgarian is in his third, and final, season in the KIJHL. He played the past two seasons with the Revelstoke Grizzlies.

After being named captain Hozjan said, "It's a huge honour and exciting, especially for such a great organization as this."

Needless to say, Hozjan has big shoes to fill after Jason Richter was the captain for the past to seasons. He shared his approach to wearing the 'C' on his jersey.

"Having a team first mentality will be a big part of it. We also have a strong leadership group so leading by example will be really important for us."

Part of being a leader is instilling hope and expectations for the team.

"As a team I think we need to focus on working hard to get better everyday. We've had a pretty good start to the season, but there's still a long way to go."

Match Sticks: The Kimberley Dynamiters is starting a meet the players series on their Facebook and Instagram pages. Hozjan was featured first.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Kathy Merkel VP of the Eddie Mountain Division

In early September the Vice President of KIJHL Eddie Mountain Division, and former Fernie Ghostriders President, Phil Iddon vacated his position to become the BC Hockey Junior Coordinator.

The KIJHL announced Wednesday that Kathy Merkel will be the new Vice President of the Eddie Mountain Division of the KIJHL.

“I have huge shoes to fill.” Merkel said by phone Wednesday. “It’s going to be a great learning experience and I really am excited to try something new.”

Merkel has been surprised and humbled with the amount of support and congratulations she has been receiving. Which should be expected; Merkel has volunteered for about 25 years with the Kimberley Dynamiters.

“The Kimberley Dynamiters have a great Executive and Board of Directors, they are all amazing people who bring so much to this organization.”

She now has approximately one week to get ready for this new volunteer role, and to pass her Nitro’s workload on.

In the first 24-hours of the new role, it has been an adjustment, “I live off the grid and live outside of the Telus service area.  I needed to get a fax line. I have spent very close to two hours on hold trying to get this sorted out.”

Merkel is excited for the new role, “I am looking forward to working with all the teams within the Eddie Mountain Division this season.   

“It is the league’s 50th anniversary this year and along with the Creston Valley Thundercats, will be hosting the 2017 Cyclone Taylor Cup in April.  We definitely have a very strong division and it’s going to be a big year for all of us.”

The team wishes Merkel all the best in her new role and are confident that she will represent all the teams very well, but she will be missed.

It's Game Day! Kimberley Dynamiters at Golden Rockets

Kimberley DynamitersvsGolden Rockets
2ndDivision Standing3rd
T-5th (4.00)Offence (GFA)17th (2.60)
T-4th (2.75)Defence (GAA)7th (3.00)
0.903Goaltending (SV%)0.921
9th (20.83%)Power PlayT-12th (16.67%)
12th (80.00%)Penalty KillT-13th (75.86%)
N/APower RankingN/A
3-1-0-0Last 103-2-0-0
Korbyn Chabot (4G-3A)Top ScorerScott Latwat (3G-2A)
 Caige Sterzer (3G-1A)2nd Top ScorerJordan Bautista (3G-0A)
Nicholas Ketola (3G-1A)3rd Top ScorerNic Lush (2G-1A)
Donte Nowell (31)PIM LeaderCarter Vouri (32)

Friday, 23 September 2016

The Kimberley Dynamiters continue to shuffle their roster

The Kimberley Dynamiters have been shuffling their roster again as the trickledown effect continues. The Nitro’s have signed forwards Matt Davies (98) and Connor Kendall (98), plus defenceman George Bertoia returned to the team.

The 6’1” forward, Connor Kendall, is from Calgary and played six games with the Calgary Canucks in the AJHL last season but had a season ending injury. Head Coach and General Manager Derek 

Stuart says, “he just got released [from the Calgary Canucks]. They sent him here to play hockey again and to get into the swing of things.”

“Kendall is a big strong guy, who is physical, and who can put the puck in the net.”

Last season Matt Davies, from Airdrie, played Midget AAA with the CFR Bisons. According to eliteprospects.com he scored three goals and six assists in 34 games, adding four goals and two assists in 11 playoff games. The Bisons went to their league finals last season. Davies was a late cut from the Bonnyville Pontiacs.

“Davies is going to help a lot. He is very fast. He works extremely hard.”

George Bertoia returns to the team after starting the season with the Drumheller Dragons. Last year Bertoia was the Dynamiters Rookie of the Year.

“He’s definitely going to be one of our top defensemen, by what everyone is telling me. I’ve only seen him in practice.”

“I expect him to play his own game, and to pick up where he left off last year. Being that physical presence out there, making it tough for other forwards to get to the net; using his physical stature to intimidate guys. I’m looking forward to seeing play.”

With the return of Bertoia that allowed Stuart to move James Rota back up to forward. However, with these recent additions, that means players had to be released.

“Unfortunately you have to release guys that you don’t want to and guys that could probably play elsewhere in the league”

The Dynamiters released three forwards: Kyle Cornford (98), Logan Middleton (98), and Taylor Girard (98).

“It’s a good thing when you have players that you have to make hard decisions on, who we keep and who we are not. You could be making a mistake, time will tell.

“I’m really happy with the team right now. We feel we have a real strong group of forwards. We have improved our hockey club by bringing in Davies in Kendall.”

The Nitro’s are at their maximum roster size of 25. They currently carry 15 forwards, eight defencemen, and two goaltenders.

The Nitro’s are on the road this weekend for their lone game on Saturday against the Golden Rockets at the Golden Arena. Puck drop is 7:30pm.

Published in the Kimberley Bulletin/Cranbrook Townsman