The Dynamiters finished the weird month of November with a win and a loss. A total of 20 goals were scored during those two games.
The Nitro’s had a lopsided 8-2 victory over the Columbia Valley Rockies, followed by a 6-4 loss to the Fernie Ghostriders.
It was the first time this season that the Rockies came to play at the Civic Centre. The Dynamiters have only lost one game at home, and continued their impressive performance at home.
Dynamiters Captain, Ryan Hozjan, who was the Home Star of the game with two goals and an assist, felt that the team shouldn’t be performing differently at home than on the road: “I don’t think it should be [different at home] but it has been.”
The Nitro’s had a 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission with goals from Connor Kendall and Nicholas Ketola.
Ketola continued with his hot hand as he helped build the Nitro’s lead, scoring the third goal early in the middle frame. The Dynamiters later scored their fourth and fifth goals 10 seconds apart by Korbyn Chabot and Ryan Hozjan.
Kimberley added three more goals from Caige Sterzer, Hozjan, and Garreth Osmar to take home a commanding 8-2 victory.
Mitch Traichevich made 23 saves for his ninth win of the season in front of 584 fans.
Head coach and general manager of the Dynamiters, Derek Stuart, felt that the team worked hard this game:
“It is something we have been asking our guys to do is to establish their work ethic first, so we are able to do other things. I think we did that again at the start from the first shift our work ethic was excellent.”
But he also felt the team rallied behind each other.
“This team does a really good job of feeding off each other whether it is a hit or a blocked shot or a goal or what ever it may be. The team builds of the energy that it creates itself. [Friday] was another example of that, we got a goal and the next line pairing that went out wanted to contribute and get a goal as well. It was a great job by the team feeding off each others energy.”
Ketola, who was recently shifted to centre, had two goals and an assist on the eve of his birthday, felt the Nitro’s showed the Rockies what they were capable of: “I though we came prepared tonight to play these guys because I don’t think we have in the past. We came out and showed them what we can actually do.”
He then credited his teammates for his performance: “I thought playing with my linemates helped me get those goals. They gave me a lot of breaks to put the puck in the net, that really helped out.
Hozjan sang a similar tune: “I thought it was pretty solid. I mean we haven’t had strong games against them in the past. It was good to show them what we are capable of.”
“My line was working hard all night. We were all getting chances and buried a few. It was good.”
The Dynamiters then shifted their focus to division rivals, some may even say enemy, the Fernie Ghostriders.
The majority of the game was even, with both teams jockeying for ice. The Nitro’s felt cheated of an early 3-0 lead when a goal was disallowed.
That wasn’t the only adversity that the team faced. During the middle frame, a whopping 82 minutes’ worth of penalties was handed out. This resulted in the Nitro’s having a short bench.
“We had a short bench with George Bertoia having to leave because of injury and three other players got game misconducts. I’m still not sure why the were kicked out, or Fernie’s for that matter.”
To survive the short bench, Stuart said “It’s just a matter of taking short shifts and keeping really really simple. When we did that, we managed to control the game.”
It was in the final ten minutes of the third that the game would be decided. Up to this point the Nitro’s had four goals: Osmar, James Rota, Chabot, and Ketola, but they were tied four with the Riders.
“During the TV timeout in the third we told the guys whoever makes the least amount of unforced errors in the last nine minutes will win it. Unfortunately, on their winning goal it was an unforced error.”
The Riders then followed up on another error and took the game 6-4 in front of the 1,036 in attendance at the Fernie Memorial Arena.
Reflecting of the game, Stuart said:
“A lot of teams can probably say this: a lot of the times that we do give up goals it’s because of our own miscues or errors with the puck. That was a major issue [Saturday], mistakes with the puck or in coverage, ended up in the back of the net. We need to do a better job of making them earn their scoring chances and goals – when we do that, we are really tough to score against.”
“It’s just a matter of taking better care of pucks in our own zone and making simple plays instead of trying to do something special.”
The Dynamiters prepare for a rematch of this past weekends games as they play the Ghostriders in Fernie on Friday and then host the Rockies on Saturday.
If there is one aspect of the teams performance this weekend that Stuart wants to focus on before facing the Riders and Rockies again, is managing adversity: “The only thing we need to do different is when there is adversity. When there was adversity [Saturday] night we didn’t do a very good job at managing it. We have to manage that.”