Sunday, 17 December 2017

The Kimberley Dynamiters sweep the weekend series against the Columbia Valley Rockies

For the second time this month, the Kimberley Dynamiters have played back-to-back games against the same divisional opponent. This past weekend, it was the Columbia Valley Rockies on the schedule.

The Kimberley Dynamiters headed into the weekend series on a four game winning streak and wanted to end the weekend on a high note heading into their Christmas break.

The Nitro's looked like they were on a mission to start the game. Matt Davies opened the scoring 63 seconds into the game. Chase Gedny followed that up with a slapshot from the slot power play goal. With those two quick goals, it looked like it was going to be all Kimberley.

Before the period ended, though, the Rockies halved the Nitro's lead. It was 2-1.

"Our first 10 minutes were excellent." Head coach and general manager Derek Stuart said. "I think the guys got a little bit too over confident thinking that it was going to be point night, or easy after that. So we struggled for the next 30 minutes."

The second period has been a sore spot for the Nitro's as of late. This game was no exception, the Rockies were able to tie the game at two, and outshot the Nitro's 12-10. It's as if the Nitro's were just trying to survive the middle period.

And has been tradition, the Nitro's excelled in the third period. Gedny scored a very identical goal to earlier in the game on the power play. Minutes later Nicholas Graham gave the Nitro's a 4-2 lead.

The Nitro's would hold on to win the game, as Adam Andersen would turn aside 23 of 25 shots for his seventh win of the season.

On Saturday, it was as if the Rockies had stolen the script from Friday's game from the Nitro's. Fifty-seven seconds into the game the Rockies scored. The Rockies held onto their 1-0 period lead, despite being out-shot 14-5.

In the second period the Nitro's were able to draw even on a very confusing play. The whistle had blown, the Rockies stopped playing, Stuart thought his team was being penalized, but the Nitro's skaters kept playing a Davies scored.

The awkward play is what began to fuel the fire for the Nitro's. James Farmer would add a goal moments later.

Then in the third the Nitro's began to pull away with Bryce McDonald and Brock Palmer scoring the third and fourth goals, to take the road game 4-1.

To earn his 15th victory of the season, Cody Campbell made 24 saves in Invermere.

"The third period, I thought was our best period of the game." Stuart said, "That was our best 60-minute effort in a long time. We were great."

Stuart also commended the team on their effort to stay focused in the game before the Christmas break.

But if there was one part of the Nitro's game that Staurt was most pleased with, it was special teams.

"Our special teams were excellent this weekend. Our penalty kill was perfect, killing all 10 penalties. The powerplay was the best it’s been all year, we were able to score five times on 11 opportunities.

"When your special teams is that good you’re going to win a lot of games."

The Nitro's now go on a 10-day break, riding a six-game win-streak to then return on December 27th for practice to prepare for the holiday classic against the Fernie Ghostriders on the 28th and 29th.

Staurt is glad that the team gets a break, but is also torn about taking a break during the teams win streak. He would like to keep the momentum going.

Because, the Dynamiters now sit first in the league, three points ahead of the Nelson Leafs, and they also have a nine point lead on the Creston Valley Thunder Cats in the division.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Kimberley Dynamiters win a defense first game against the Creston Valley Thunder Cats

The Kimberley Dynamiters had a lone game this weekend, a rematch of Tuesday's comeback overtime win against the Creston Valley Thunder Cats.

The Thunder Cats entered the game as one of four KIJHL teams with a better road record than home record. The Cats have also been explosive the past two Saturday's. Scoring eight goals against the Nitro's two Saturday's ago, and then doubled that to a walloping 16 goals against the Golden Rockets.

When the question was posed on Twitter if the Thunder Cats would continue their scoring sequence, of either adding eight more goals or doubling their goal output, the Thunder Cats Twitter account jokingly said, "how about we go easy and we make it 24."

Dynamiters captain Brett Roberts weighed in on the conversation and said "I'm thinking zero."

When the Cats rolled into Kimberley, they had come off a hard fought 7-2 win over the Fernie Ghostriders, while the Dynamiters had Friday night off.

Cam Russell, the Nitro's November Player of the Month, continued his scoring streak, now with points in six games straight, by banging in the first goal at the midway point of the first.

"I'm getting to my game where I like to play, and being comfortable with that." Russell said, "I want to keep playing good."

The middle period was scoreless as both teams were playing defense first hockey. The defensive pair of James Rota and Mason Palaga were, according to Stuart, doing a fantastic job with their task of shutting down the Cats top line.

Tempers began to flair during the end of the second and start of the third, and one couldn't help but have flashbacks to two Saturday's ago. Cooler heads did prevail, and the game resumed it's fast-skating, defense-first pace.

Russell would score his second goal of the game on the power play as he fired a shot in from the circle. He has now scored five goals and three assists in his past six games.

"Russell has been our best player going on six-weeks now." Stuart said after the game. "You can see why, he works harder than anyone else and he just wants it more."

That would be it for the entries into the boxscore, as the Nitro's would maintain the pace and hold the 2-0 lead.

Cody Campbell turned away all 27 shots earning his third shutout and 14th win of the season.

It was newcomer Ryan Keilty's first game in Kimberley, but second with the team. Stuart says Keilty has a hard shift to do from playing Nelson style hockey to Nitro's style.

"He listens well and he is smart. We just need to get the mentality of relaxing, staying back, and being passive out of his mind and be more aggressive and pressure guys. It was a much different system in Nelson. It will take time to adjust."

Looking at the whole game, Stuart was pleased with the win, but not pleased with the performance, "I thought it was pretty defensive, a lot of mistakes, and quite boring to be completely honest with you. But we will take the two points."

"Our confidence [against Creston] should be better. I really liked how we played a lot more on Tuesday then we did tonight. They were flat and we weren't much better tonight."

After the game, Roberts had a big ear to ear smile, "How about that zero?" he said, "It's a big win. Campbell played great. Everybody played hard defense. It was good for us to get a good win on home ice."

Roberts said that he and the players usually stay away from social media interactions, but said that on this occasion he had to take a stand "It is good to stand up for the boys, let them know that we are going to have that happen."

The Dynamiters now sit first in the league with a two point lead over the Nelson Leafs, having played the same amount of games. They also hold a seven point lead in the division against Creston.

Upcoming this weekend is a home-away series against the Columbia Valley Rockies.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

The Kimberley Dynamiters stun the Creston Valley Thunder Cats with a 5-4 comeback OT win

On Tuesday the Kimberley Dynamiters traveled to Creston to play the Thunder Cats. Entering the game, the Nitro's trailed the season series 0-2-1.

This game was one of the more anticipated games of the season so far, due to the outcome the last time these two teams met. There was also KIJHL and BC Hockey representatives in attendance.

Both teams were still suffering from the outcomes of the penalty filled 8-1 win for the Cats over the Nitro's, as both teams had players still out due to suspension.

The first period was a fast paced draw. Adam Andersen turned aside all 13 shots he faced in the period, while the Dynamiters had no scoring success on their 14 shots.

The Nitro's have struggled in the middle period in the past, and this game was no exception. The Cats chased Andersen from the net scoring three goals on five shots in just over 10 minutes. The Cats were not done, and scored a fourth goal against Cody Campbell with just over four minutes left in the second.

"There were defensive breakdowns." Head coach and general manager Derek Stuart said. "We had a couple miscoverages, and one moment where the player went for the poke-check instead of the body."

Brandt Bertoia answered back for the Nitro's, scoring with 140 seconds left. But it felt like it was too little too late and that the Nitro's had lost the game in 40 minutes of play, trailing 4-1.

"We told the guys [in the second intermission] to stop panicking and to have some poise, and to play with some confidence. We know we are better team then we showed in the second period."

"The message was simply to relax and have some fun out there."

The Dynamiters came bursting out in the third period with Bryce McDonald and Derian Bamber scoring 66 seconds apart before two minutes had even elapsed in the third period. The comeback was on.

The period waned on and it began to look like the Cats had held on long enough. The Dynamiters pulled their goalie with just over a minute left. With the 22 seconds left the Cats called a timeout after icing the puck. There was a scramble in the corner and the Cats cleared the puck out to a waiting-in-the-slot Mason Palaga's who fired the puck nailing the water bottle to tie the game with 9 second remaining.

In the first four-on-four over-time the Nitro's got a glorious opportunity with a four-on-three power play. Several posts and close calls, and this game remained knotted at four after the four-on-four fourth period.

The second over-time period began, it was three-on-three. There was a lot of ice to work with. At times the Cats elected to go with three forwards, while the Nitro's went with two forwards and a defender.

The action was frantic. Nitro's leading scorer Brock Palmer, emerged with the puck from the corner on his forehand, reaching to wrap the puck around the goalie, hitting the post. He followed up the loose puck and scored the overtime winning goal, completing the come from behind win. Stunning all the fans, players and coaches.

"I think our depth took over." Stuart said. "There is only so many minutes James, Plunkett, and Wilkie can play, that line started running out of gas."

For the first time this season the Kimberley Dynamiters defeated the Creston Valley Thunder Cats. With the win the Nitro's hold a seven point lead on the Cats.

"I liked our first, third and overtime. We have talked about how hard it is to play a full 60 minutes, and we are striving for it.

"At this point, against these guys, just to get the win mentally was all we are looking for."

The Cats and Nitro's face off again on Saturday at the Civic Centre, the Nitro's only game this weekend. The Cats, of course, will want redemption from the over-time loss, and to reign in the Nitro's in the standings.

The game starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Kimberley Civic Centre on Saturday.

Monday, 4 December 2017

The Kimberley Dynamiters add Ryan Keilty from the Nelson Leafs

The Kimberley Dynamiters announced that they had traded for '98 born forward Ryan Keilty from the Nelson Leafs early Friday morning.

Friday was a busy day in the KIJHL as it was a roster trimming deadline, teams needed to have no more than 25 player cards.

The Kimberley Dynamiters had released Austin Lawson and Tyler Van Steinburg, and then added Colby Sherlock the day prior to the deadline; leaving one spot open.

"Ryan will add to our team speed and make our penalty kill even stronger." Head coach and general manager Derek Stuart said. "Everyone I spoke to had nothing but great things to say about Ryan’s character, team first attitude and work ethic.

"He was able to contribute on a daily basis for the league’s top team and we are confident he will do the same with us."

For Keilty the trade was news to him, saying it was a pretty quick turnover of being called down to the Leafs office, being told he was traded, and then Stuart calling and welcoming him to the team.

The defensive forward is optimistic about playing with the Dynamiters, "I'm looking forward to playing with the style of play that the Nitro's have because they move the puck and play very quickly. I think my game will fit in well with their system"

This is Keilty's first season in the KIJHL, and in 23 games with the Nelson Leafs he has scored four goals and one assist.

The Summerland, BC native played for the Seattle Ravens of the U.S. Premier 3 Hockey League (Tier III) the season prior scoring 20 goals and 45 assists in 40 games.

Keilty is anticipated to be in the lineup for Tuesday's game against the Creston Valley Thunder Cats.

Kimberley Dynamiters November Player of the Month: Cam Russell

Before Friday's match against the Fernie Ghostriders, the Kimberley Dynamiters named Cam Russell as their November Player of the Month.

During eight games in November, Russell scored two goals (both power play goals) and six assists, while being named the Star of the Game three times.

"Cam is starting to play his best hockey and is contributing in every area of the game." Head coach and general manager Derek Stuart said. "He was consistently our best player in those eight games."

Russell is grateful for the recognition, "Well you kind of appreciate the notice and are excited to be in a good place with your game."

He added that it is his linemates that helped contribute to his success, "I think my line mates the last couple of weeks have been outstanding and have pushed me to help the line get progressively better no matter where I’m playing and that’s huge."

Russell then went on to score two goals this past weekend, bucking the player of the month jinx.

Lead photo by Jonathan Righton

Kimberley Dynamiters maintain their lead in the division with two wins past weekend

The Kimberley Dynamiters continued their hosting of divisional opponents. They first hosted the Fernie Ghostriders on Friday, and then the Columbia Valley Rockies on Saturday.

As expected, a matchup between the Ghostriders and Dynamiters lived up to the expectations. It was a goalie duel between 'Riders Broc Merkl, who played for the Nitro's earlier this season but was cut from the team when Cody Campbell returned, and it was Campbell manning the Nitro's net.

Cam Russell, who was named the teams November player of the month, opened the scoring in the first as he chased down the rebound from Bryce McDonald's break.

In the second the Nitro's built on their lead as Nicholas Graham deflected in Matt Davies' shot. The 'Riders would respond as the second period wound down, making it a 2-1 game.

Minutes later Davies, Russell, and Brandt Bertoia combined for a beautiful tic-tac-toe play that Russell finished, giving the Nitro's a 3-1 lead going into the second intermission.

The Dynamiters would hold onto their two goals lead for 17 minutes before the 'Riders pulled their goalie and scoring, making it a one goal game. The 'Riders, as anticipated, upped their attack, but Campbell and the Nitro's would cling on to win the game 3-2.

Campbell made 33 saves in front of the 676 in attendance as he was named the Home Star of the game.

Next up was the Columbia Valley Rockies. The Rockies keeper, Joshua King was riding a three-game win streak heading into the game.

For the recently added Colby Sherlock, this was an emotional game against he former team.

"I thought tonight he was excellent. He was very effective. He showed us and the fans why we acquired him, he is physical and he can skate. He's a smart player and is happy to be here."

Russell opened the scoring again, as his line of McDonald and Bertoia started showing their potential. For Russell, he was bucking the trend of the player of the month jinx.

"It’s awesome to get the player of the month but you can’t get in your own head about it. Nothing changes you gotta go play your game." Russell said, "It’s not really something that came across my mind as I would be prepping for the two games."

The Rockies would respond five minutes later and this game was tied at one after 20 minutes.

"I really liked our first period," Head coach and general manager Derek Stuart said. "We hit three posts and crossbar. To me, that kept the Rockies in the game, and they built momentum off that."

After the midway point in the second, McDonald would score two goals three minutes apart to give the Nitro's a two goal lead. Those were McDonald's first goals with the Nitro's.

"It definitely felt really good,especially the second one being the game winner. We needed those 2 points." McDonald said after the game, adding that he is getting more comfortable with the team, linemates, and the larger ice-surface.

The Rockies would cut into the lead, 3-2, before the middle period ended.

"For whatever reason our second periods at home are not very good." Stuart said. "Their not terrible, but they are not as good as the first or third."

The Nitro's then would dig in and hold the Rockies at bay. Chase Gedny and Davies would each score to give the Dynamiters a 5-2 win.

"For some reason, in third periods, if games are close we seem to crank it up in the third."

McDonald would be named the Home Star of the game, and Campbell would make 22 saves for the win.

Campbell showed with his 55 saves on 59 shots that last weekends outing against the Cats was an outlier.

"In his KI career he has had two or three games like he had last Saturday," Staurt said, "and the next game he has been fantastic.

"We have no worries when Cody has a rough night, just like everyone else does, but he bounces back better than a lot of people."

Due to the penalty filled game against the Cats two Saturday's ago, the Nitro's had 17 skaters in the lineup against the 'Riders, and then had a full 18 against the Rockies. Filling one of those roster spots was 16 year old affiliate player Jackson Bohan.

"Bohan is very good, that is a credit to his coach in Trail. And another credit to them is they leave it up to their players if they want to come here or not."

"He did a great job stepping in, you couldn't really tell he was an affiliate. We'd love to see him in a Nitro's jersey full-time next year."

The Dynamiters now get ready to travel to Creston to play the Thunder Cats on Tuesday, a game that everyone around the league will be watching.

Stuart is hoping to build off the disappointment of the last game,"I’m hoping the guys build off the motivation Creston gave us in the last period we faced them."

Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m. at the Johnny Bucyk Arena.

Friday, 1 December 2017

It's Game Day! Kimberley Dynamiters vs Fernie Ghostriders

Kimberley Dynamiters add KIJHL vet, and division rival, Colby Sherlock to the team

The Kimberley Dynamiters made a trade late Friday night acquiring forward Colby Sherlock ('98) from the Columbia Valley Rockies.

Sherlock is in his third season with the Rockies, and was surprised, if not even shocked, to be traded to a division rival.

Sherlock learned of the trade on Friday evening when the Rockies coach called him into the office. Since then it has been an emotional time for him.

"It caught me off guard that I got traded in the division, especially since I have been playing for the Rockies for three years." Sherlock said over the phone as he finished packing his billet home in Invermere. "Change is good, and I will take it as a positive.

"But there is a lot of emotions leaving a team that you have played for for three years."

The Sicamous native has played in 94 games with the Rockies scoring 16 goals and 17 assists. He has also played in four playoff games scoring one goal in 2016. He was recognized as the teams Playoff Player of the Year that season. Last season, he was recognized as the Most Dedicated player on the team.

When Sherlock tried to deduce why he was traded, he was still caught up in the emotions of being blind-sided by the trade.

"I think a chance to go deep in the playoffs had something to do with [the trade]." He said trying to understand why he was traded away, but then in optimism he said that he must have impressed the Nitro's coaching staff. "They think I can help their team because I play a fast physical game."

Sherlock was able to joke that it will be very interesting on Saturday when the Nitro's host the Rockies, adding that it will be an emotional game. But overall he is just hopeful of what the future may bring now that he is a Dynamiter.

"Have a good rest of the year, and hope to go as far was we can go in the playoffs."

Head coach and general manager Derek Stuart said "We’re very happy to welcome Colby to our team.

"He is big and strong, plays physical and is a very good skater. Being able to add a veteran of 100 KIJHL games will help us now and come playoffs"

Sherlock is expected to debut in tonight's game against the Fernie Ghostriders.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Kimberley Dynamiters shuffle roster ahead of deadline, prepare for divisional matchups

The Kimberley Dynamiters have another full weekend hosting division rivals. On Friday the Fernie Ghostriders (7-9-1-2) visit, then on Saturday the Columbia Valley Rockies (9-11-3-2) come to town.

This will be the second meeting between the Nitro's and the 'Riders. The Nitro's escaped with a 5-4 win in Fernie early in November. Keelan Saworski and Mitch Titus lead the attack for the Ghostriders. The 'Riders are struggling with a mid-season injury bug, four players are listed as injured plus a goalie. Goaltending has been the 'Riders weak spot this season, due to injuries, as they have had five goalies play for them.

As for the Rockies, this will be the fourth meeting this season. The games have had polarizing scores, depending on where the game is played. The Nitro's have won two at home, scoring 11 goals to the Rockies two. The Rockies have also won a game, 6-2, at home. The Rockies are always a competitive crew. They have six players averaging a point per game, or nearly there.

For the Nitro's they have four players out due to suspension: James Farmer, Mason Palaga, Lucas Purdy, and Harrison Risdon. Head coach and general manager Derek Stuart says that they have reached out and found an affiliate player to fill in on defence.

Regarding the suspensions, Stuart says that the team has accepted the suspension decisions from BC Hockey and the league, and that the team is moving on from Saturday's penalty filled loss to the Creston Valley Thunder Cats.

The Dynamiters have also made roster moves ahead of the December 1st deadline. The team has released Austin Lawson and Tyler Van Steinburg.

Lawson joined the team this season and scored two goals and two assists in 21 games.

Van Steinburg has been with the Nitro's since the 2015-16 season, playing in 94 games and scoring 9 goals and 33 assists.

Both players are moving on from the team and hockey to pursue off-ice priorities.

Puck drop for both the Friday and Saturday games are 7:30pm at the Kimberley Civic Centre.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Bloggers Blurb November 24, 2017 - KIJHL Clutch Scorers

Kimberley Dynamiters have an emotional roller coaster weekend, resulting in four player suspensions

The Kimberley Dynamiters schedule has shifted to divisional matchups. If this past weekend is any indication, the Nitro's are in for an emotional roller coaster.

On Friday, the Dynamiters hosted the Columbia Valley Rockies, who beat the Nitro's in Invermere during their last visit.

"With how the Rockies celebrated with their win in Invermere, like they'd won the league; it helped make it easy to motivate the guys." Head coach and general manager Derek Stuart said.

The Nitro's were motvated and came busting out in the first period, scoring two goals and firing 19 shots. Brandy Bertoia scored the opening goal before the five minute mark, and then Cam Russell added a power play goal.

"I just found a little more confidence in this league. It is just coming." Russell said after the game, he has had seven points in the last five games.

The story was much the same in the second period. Two goals, and out-shooting the Rockies. James Farmer scored at the midway point of the period, and Nicholas Ketola made it 4-0 after 40 minutes.

The Nitro's were using their speed, and large ice surface to their advantage. "Our defence can get back for pucks quickly, get their feet turned quickly," Stuart says, "might as well move the puck and stretch the zone so we can enter their zone quicker."

Going into the third, murmurings of Adam Andersen earning his first KIJHL shutout began to swirl. When Matt Davies scored after the 10-minute mark to make it 5-0, the murmurings turned into whispers of excitement. Then with the third period nearing it's conclusion, the Rockies scored their lone goal, ending Andersen and the Nitro's bid for a shutout.

Andersen turned aside 23 of the 24 shots he faced earning his sixth win of the season.

"Andersen did great." Stuart said. "November 7th was his last game. For him to have the focus and determination to play like he did tonight, I thought he looked really sound and made some key saves."

The games against the Rockies have all been polarizing: 6-1 win, 6-2 loss, and now a 5-1 victory.

"The Rockies are a good hockey club," Stuart said. "The difference tonight was that we were prepared and focused."

Forward, Russell agrees, "We bounced back. We had to prepare better, and that showed on the ice."

Now, let's move onto the main event, the Creston Valley Thunder Cats came rolling into town on Saturday. The Cats entered the game trailing the Nitro's by six points in the standing, but also have a game in hand.

For 20 minutes, the game was close. The Cats had a one shot edge in shots, and that difference was a goal.

"I thought we were pretty good in the first period. We had five or six point blank scoring chances in the ten minutes." Stuart said. "Once we got that first ten minute major, things started to go down mentally."

The underlying story in that period, was Mason Palaga was called for boarding, and then there was an ensuing scrap. Little did we know, that this was just the start of the parade to the penalty box and dressing room.

In the second period, the wheels fell off for the Nitro's. The Thunder Cats unleashed their full attack, showing why they are one of the hottest teams in the KIJHL, scoring four goals to the Dynamiters one.

And it didn't stop. The Cats kept pressing. Chasing Cody Campbell from the net after the sixth goal in the third. Then on the first shot against Andersen, they scored. 7-1 Cats.

"We weren’t prepared and didn’t didn’t stick to our game plan," Nitro's captain Brett Roberts said after the game.

Just when the scoring looked like it was done, they added one more with just over eight minutes left.

It was at this point that tempers flared. A line brawl broke out, once the fighting was done, the officials were slow to get players to their benches and to the penalty box, which led to more outbreaks.

Two minutes later, another line brawl erupted. When this was dealt with and sorted, there were 11 skaters left on each team to finish out the game.

When all was said and done, there was a total of 162 penalty minutes during the game, eight game misconducts, seven suspended players totalling 22 games.

"When a team get’s their asses kicked on the scoreboard (as we did) it’s something we can deal with and try to fix moving forward." Stuart said after the game.

"But when the opponent chooses to run their mouths from the safety of their bench, punch my players in the face while hiding behind linesmen and excessively celebrate when they score their seventh and eigth goals we aren’t going to sit there and take that.

"The behaviour of some of Creston’s veteran players after the game was out of hand was the sole reason the game ended the way it did."

In three games against the Cats, the Nitro's have only earned one point in a tie, and have lossed the other two.

"We played great against Beaver Valley. We have beat Nelson twice." Stuart said about his teams consistency. "It's just Creston. I don't know if it is a mental block."

As for the captain, he believes the team has learned their lesson, "We haven’t shown them our full potential, we know what went wrong and have taken the steps to make sure we learn from our mistakes.

"There are lots of lessons we still need to learn as a team and will continue to throughout the season, this is only one of many more games we have against the Thunder Cats and we are fully confident that what happened tonight night won’t happen again."

The Nitro's schedule conitnues to be division heavy with games this weekend against the Fernie Ghostriders and Columbia Valley Rockies.

MATCH STICKS: Mason Palaga is suspended for two games for checking from behing and game misconduct; Lucas Purdy seven games for attempt to injure and game misconduct; James Farmer one game for a game misconduct issued in the last 10 minutes; and Harrison Risdon five games for multiple fights, major head contact, and a game misconduct issued in the last 10 minutes.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

KIJHL Clutch Scorers - November 2017

Time for another look at who the clutch scorers are in the KIJHL!

As of November 20, 2017 here are the clutch scorers: (click to enlarge)

Here is the data, presented on how I have done it in the past.

1 Josh Bourne '99 Chase Heat 12 9 2 1 8 32
2 Jordan Robertson '97 Grand Forks Border Bruins 8 13 0 0 4 25
3 Pat Brady '97 Chase Heat 14 8 0 0 2 24
4 Dylan Heppler '97 Beaver Valley Nitehawks 8 7 0 0 8 23
5 Chase Gedny  '99 Kimberley Dynamiters 10 4 2 0 6 22
6 Brock Palmer  '99 Kimberley Dynamiters 10 6 2 0 2 20
6 Nicholas Ketola '97 Kimberley Dynamiters 8 2 4 0 6 20
6 Trey Mason '97 Grand Forks Border Bruins 6 11 0 1 2 20
9 Evan Gorman '98 Beaver Valley Nitehawks 10 2 0 1 6 19
9 Hunter Johnson '98 Osoyoos Coyotes 12 3 0 0 4 19
9 Judd Repole '97 Osoyoos Coyotes 2 15 0 0 2 19
9 Kaden Black '98 Chase Heat 10 6 2 1 0 19
9 Kolten Moore '97 Chase Heat 2 7 6 0 4 19
9 Ryan Skytt '98 Columbia Valley Rockies 12 3 2 0 2 19
15 Brett Witala '97 Kelowna Chiefs 6 7 4 1 0 18
15 Drew Carter '97 Princeton Posse 2 7 6 1 2 18
15 Juanre Naude  '99 Kelowna Chiefs 10 6 0 0 2 18
15 Justin Bond '97 100 Mile House Wranglers 8 8 0 0 2 18

Monday, 20 November 2017

Kimberley Dynamiters sweep the season series against the Beaver Valley Nitehawks

The Kimberley Dynamiters had a lone game this past weekend, a rematch against the Beaver Valley Nitehawks.

The history between the Nitro's and Nitehawks, the arch-nemesis from the Neil Murdoch Division, goes back many years. In recent memory, the Nitehawks have been the combatant in the Kootenay Conference Finals against the Nitro's. Last season, the Nitro's lost to them after forcing a decisive game five, the Nitehawks then went on to win the KIJHL title, and the Cyclone Taylor Cup.

This season, the Dynamiters downed the Nitehawks back in September, and then a blowout win last weekend. The Nitro's looked to sweep the season series against the Nitehawks with a win in the third meeting.

It took about five minutes for the Nitro's to find their skating legs, due to not having a Friday game, and schedule that has included two Tuesday games this month.

"It's an adjustment, for sure." Said head coach and general manager Derek Stuart. "But they are adjusting fine."

The Nitro's exploded for three goals in the first once they found their groove. Chase Gedny opened the scoring his 12th of the season. Matt Davies and Nicholas Ketola rounded out the scoring in the first.

"We have been having roughing starts for quite a while. It was our best first period in a long time. We got everyone involved early to feel like they are ready to go in those first couple of shifts."

The second period was a lull in the game. Even though the Nitro's led in shots 15-8, the shots were skewed due to power plays near the end of the period.

"I didn't like our second period." Stuart said. "More so in terms of going on the attack, and having that killer instinct.

"I thought defending we were pretty good in the second. We were solid. All six of our defencemen were good last night."

One player that was being an example on the back-end, was Mason Palaga, who we tend to notice more when he is on the attack compared to defending.

"Defensively he was very difficult to play against. He had a good stick and gap all night."

In the third the injury laden Nitehawks bench found energy and cut into the Nitro's lead. Ketola would restore the three goal lead, to only have the Nitehawks score later. It was too little too late, and the Nitro's held on for a 4-2 victory.

Nicholas "Captain America" Ketola was named the star of the game, recording two goals, one being the eventual game winner, and he also added an assist.

"Ketola was excellent regardless if the statistics. He was our best forward all night. He has been playing solid hockey all season long. It is very rare that he has a game where he doesn't compete or work as hard as he can."

But another player also had a three point night, Brandt Bertoia, registering three assists.

"It is good to see Bertoia get on the scoresheet. He is starting to heat up now, to score and produce as we expect him to."

Cody Campbell turned aside 19 of the 21 shots he faced as he earned his 10th win of the season.

The win means the Nitro's have swept the three-game season series against the Nitehawks, and that should prove to be a confidence booster.

"Even though Beaver Valley was missing some key players on Saturday, it’s always nice to beat the defending champs and the team that ended your season last year." Stuart said. "To go 3-0 verses them this season should give us confidence if we happen to meet up in the playoffs."

While there are still some games remaining against the Neil Murdoch Division, from this point forward, the Nitro's schedule becomes very Eddie Mountain Division heavy.

MATCH STICKS: Davies left the game early due to a slash, Stuart reported if the score was closer or later in the season, he would have played through it. As a precaution, Davies will have x-rays and be evaluated.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Webcast Interview: Getting to know Lucas Chilton

Kimberley Dynamiters tie the Cats; have lone game this weekend

The Kimberley Dynamiters continue to play hockey, despite the off-ice distractions.

The Dynamiters had a rematch this past Tuesday against the Creston Valley Thunder Cats at the Civic Centre. The Nitro's had played a lousy game against the T'-Cats on Friday losing 3-2, and were seeking revenge.

The Dynamiters opened the scoring late in the first, as the-continuously-scoring Brock Palmer scored a power play goal; his 16th on the year. He is also now on a four-game scoring streak, and six-game point streak.

The defining moment happened in the middle period when there was a tussle after the play, and only Nicholas Graham was given a five minute major for fighting. On the following power play for the Thuder Cats, they scored two power play goals to take a 2-1 lead.

The Nitro's looked deflated to end the second period, but came out on a mission to tie the game. It took until just under six minutes for Brandt Bertoia to score the game tying goal, forcing overtime.

A hard fought four-on-four first period of overtime yielded no results, so the second overtime period of three-on-three started. Again, many chances, but no goal registered. So this game ended in a deserving, but undramatic, tie.

As a result, the Nitro's did not lose or gain any ground in the standings, maintaining their six point lead over the Thunder Cats.

The Nitro's have a lone-game weekend, hosting the Beaver Valley Nitehawks for the second weekend in a row. Last weekend, the Nitro's played one of their best games, outscoring the 'Hawks 7-2. The meeting before that was early in the season, on September 16, and the Nitehawks won 6-4 at home.

The Nitehawks sit second in their division, but have only three points less than the Kimberley Dynamiters. So while fans may hope for a game similar to last weekend, expect it to be very different.

The puck drops at 7:30pm at the Kimberley Civic Centre.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Update on the $7.5M commitment to donate to Kimberley Hockey

One month ago, Mike Gould, committed to donate $7.5 million to Kimberley Hockey, a story that put this blog on the map, and attracted attention throughout the province and the nation.

Here we are one month later and the Kimberley Dynamiter's President James Leroux reported that the funds have not been received yet.

At this point, Leroux didn't want to comment further on the commitment. He replied that the teams executive is volunteer based, they have full-time jobs, and that the executive wants to get back to focusing on the Nitro's regular season, and will deal with the ramifications of the committed donation in the off-season.

Gould kept his responses to questions short and simple regarding the donation."Banks" he said. And then later added that the hold up is very frustrating.

Taking some columnist liberties here, Kimberley is a small town and rumors have been circulating regarding the validity of the commitment moments after it's announcement. Trust is needed to know that the Nitro's executive have done their due diligence before making such a public announcement; which I know they have.

In the short conversation with Gould, it was a friendly reminder that we are dealing with a large sum of money. This isn't an amount that can just be withdrawn from the nearest ATM. There are banks, lawyers, and all sorts of other red-tape involved.

So let us all return our focus back to the Kimberley Dynamiters and their fantastic start to the regular season; and not focus so much attention on and give so much energy to the rumors. We need to just wait, patiently, for the announcement that the funds have been received.

***And please keep in mind, I am not on the board, I have no professional affiliation to the team, I just report.***

(Updated Nov 14) The Kimberley Dynamiters have since released a statement:

The Kimberley Dynamiters split weekend in polarizing performances

The Kimberley Dynamiters took to the road Friday to face-off against the Creston Valley Thunder Cats, for the first of eight meetings, and then hosted the Beaver Valley Nitehawks.

In Creston, the Cats were electric. They scored the first goal of the game and fired an astounding 18 shots in the first period. The Nitro's did respond with a goal of their own, by Brock Palmer, and 13 shots.

Early in the second Brandt Bertoia was able to give the Nitro's a 2-1 lead, but it was all down hill from there.

The Cats outshot the Nitro's 29-16 and scored two goals, taking the game 3-2 and handing the Nitro's their second loss in November, and fourth loss on the season.

"We were very bad." Head coach and general manager Derek Stuart said. "Our first period was just above average. For some reason in the second and third we lost our legs. We lost our will to compete."

Staurt said that the veterans reported that there was a lack of preparation by the players and "that perhaps some of the players don't have a hate on for Creston, that we should have had right away."

The Dynamiters looked for a fresh start against the Beaver Valley Nitehawks on Saturday.

The Nitehawks, however, had other plans, and deflated the 755 in attendance early in the first. It was the sixth game in a row that the Nitro's were scored on first.

"You'd like to get the first goal," Stuart said, aware of the trend, "but it doesn't necessarily have a direct outcome on games. It is definitely nicer to play with a lead to chasing. But the guys have done a great job of bouncing back."

And bouncing back is just what the Nitro's did. Being scored on first seemed to awaken the Nitro's, as four different players would score before the end of the first, Brett Roberts, Nicholas Graham, Cam Russell, and Palmer.

That would be Graham's first goal with the Nitro's, and Stuart would say that Graham was a standout player, and contributing reason for the win.

The scoring would slow down in the middle period, as Brant Mack increased the Nitro's lead. It was 5-1 after 40 minutes, a very different scoreline than what is expected between these two clubs.

"When everyone is going, we are very dangerous depth wise." Stuart said. "We do have three lines, and a fourth line that can chip in.

"Plus, when we play at home, we get a boost from the crowd."

In the third, the Nitehawks would press back, scoring one goal to the Dynamiters two goals (Devon Langelaar and Bertoia).

By the final buzzer it was 7-2 Nitro's, and they saluted the crowd after a massive win.

Cody Campbell started both games, making 44 saves in the loss, and 29 saves for his ninth win of the season.

Brock Palmer continues to stand out, scoring two goals and three assists over the weekend. He now sits third in league scoring with 34 points. Linemate, Matt Davies is just behind at ninth with 31 points.

Looking back on the weekend, the Nitro's had polarizing performances. "It was two different hockey teams. It was very strange. We can't have that big of discrepancy when we play."

The Dynamiters now get to host the Thunder Cats at the Kimberley Civic Centre, and Stuart hopes for a lot of change compared to Friday's game. "Hopefully every changes. We are looking for our speed and physicality to be like what it was against the Nitehawks."

"Creston is our number one rival in the division, we need to get that hate on for them."

The rematch is Tuesday night at 7:30pm at the Civic Centre.

The Kimberley Dynamiters acquire Bryce McDonald from the Kamloops Storm

The Kimberley Dynamiters acquired forward Bryce McDonald ('98) from the Kamloops Storm.

McDonald is a 5'10" KIJHL journeyman. He has played 75 games for four teams in two-and-a-bit seasons, the Revelstoke Grizzlies, Sicamous Eagles, Golden Rockets, and Kamloops Storm. He scored 25 goals and 22 assists during that time, and he is looking forward to returning.

"I am really excited. I love the league, I love the fan base, I love the small towns." He said.

The Logan Lake, BC native was playing for the Dryden Ice Dogs of the Superior International Junior Hockey League (Junior A) in Ontario. He scored seven goals and seven assists in 14 games.

McDonald described himself as a two-way player with an offensive flair, saying "It is hard to talk about yourself, but I have been known to put the puck in the net."

McDonald said he requested the trade to Kimberley. Days prior to the Nitro's acquiring him, he was traded to the French River Rapids of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (Junior A), and he decided wanted to play hockey closer to home.

He is looking forward to playing in Kimberley, because he has the goal of winning the KIJHL championship, and has heard many great things about Kimberley.

"I have played against Kimberley a few times, and the fan base loves their Dynamiters. It looks like a very welcoming town, and I feel like I will be welcomed there."

Head coach and general manager Derek Stuart is looking forward to having McDonald in the lineup, "He is a guy who can shoot the puck really well. He can help in the goal scoring department because he has the ability to score. He is a big strong player."

McDonald is optimistic to be in the lineup Tuesday, but feels it is more realistic that he will be in the lineup for the weekend.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Matt Davies and Brock Palmer recognized for October performances

Matt Davies and Brock Palmer were both recognized for their explosive performances in October. Davies received recognition as the KIJHL Kootenay Conference Player of the Month, while Brock Palmer got the nod as the Kimberley Dynamiters Jewels on Ninth Player of the Month, and an honorable mention from the KIJHL.

Davies scored four goals and 12 assists in seven October games. His point production appeared to edge him past Palmer for the KIJHL recognition.

"The recognition is always nice, obviously," Davies said, "but I try not to think about it and keep my game as consistent as possible from month to month."

Davies then added, "October was a good month for me and my line.

"We were all using or speed and moving pucks as well as finishing around the net. The three of us gaining chemistry every week is really helping with our success."

One of Davies linemates is Palmer, who himself had a fantastic month scoring seven goals and 11 assists in nine games.

"Obviously it is awesome." Palmer said, still processing the recognition." It was almost unexpected after hearing Davies got Player of the Month for the league."

Palmer echoed the same reasons for success in October that Davies did, "I liked who I played with, and I like my role on the team. I am more comfortable now then I was in September."

Head coach and general manager Derek Stuart said that October was a good month for his team, and that there were atleast 3-4 players deserving of the recognition, and that Palmer and Davies got a nice feather in their cap, and are worthy of it.

"Both of those awards could have gone to either guy," Stuart said reciting their stats, "They have done really well together since we put them together. To see them both receive individual accolades is nice, at the same they were part of our teams success."

Palmer recognizes that it is early in the season, and there is still a lot of hockey to play, "hopefully we can keep growing, and not slack off in November."

Their and the teams success will be challenged in November as the schedule becomes division rivalry heavy, starting tonight with a game against the Creston Valley Thunder Cats at 7:30pm in Creston.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Kimberley Dynamiters comeback falls short as they lose in OT to Castlegar Rebels

The Kimberley Dynamiters had one game this past weekend, due to Friday's game against the Fernie Ghostriders being rescheduled to Tuesday. The lone game was a rematch of last weekends game against the Castlegar Rebels.

Last weekend, the Rebels beat the Nitro's 5-0 in Castlegar, but this time the game was in Kimberley where the Nitro's have yet to lose a game.

The Rebels looked like they were on a mission early, scoring just before the two minute mark. Nicholas Ketola, a.k.a. Captain America, scored his ninth goal of the season shorthanded. However, the Rebels continued to haunt the Nitro's and scored in the final minute to regain their one goal lead.

The Rebels then diffused the Nitro's in the middle period scoring two more goals to make it 4-1 by the five minute mark of the second.

Captain Brett Roberts tried to get the team going, scoring a goal during a four-on-four, but it didn't look like it was enough to jump start the team.

It wasn't until the final minutes of the second, when Brant Mack dropped the gloves, that the Nitro's showed any signs of life, a moment that head coach and general manager Derek Stuart felt was the turning point in the game.

"Our team was not going to quit, and that is a good sign."

Ketola scored his second short handed goal of the game, and then he scored his hattrick goal, securing his title as Captain America, since he is the only American on the Nitro's lineup.

"Ketola is one of the players that plays the same way, from the start to the end of the game. It was great that he got rewarded for using his speed on the penalty kill."

The Dynamiters were able to hold on to the tie and force over-time. The first five minutes of extra time were played four-on-four. The Nitro's even had a five-on-three powerplay but couldn't capitalize.

The teams then went into double over-time, three-on-three hockey, lots of ice to play with. The period was fast and furious, but short, as the Rebels dealt the Dynamiters their first home loss of the season.

After the game Stuart said, "The third period was one of our best periods of the season. Unfortunately, the first was one of our worst."

For Stuart, he felt that motivation was the reason for the polar-opposite periods. "It's now the point in time in the season where players need to figure it out and fix it themselves."

Cody Campbell made 31 saves in the overtime loss, and Stuart feels that the many of the goals were not Campbell's fault, "On four of them, there was no way he could have saved them, including the winner. I don't blame him whatsoever."

The Dynamiters now play their rescheduled game Tuesday against the Fernie Ghostriders, the 'Riders first home game since the tragedy in Fernie Memorial Arena.

"I hope and trust that it will be a good atmosphere for the players to experience. Obviously when you experience a tragedy like that, everyone feels terrible. It's not a good situation that it happened." Stuart said, "At the same time, if there is a great atmosphere in the rink, and both teams are playing like they can it should be a really good game."

Faceoff Tuesday is at 7:30pm at the Sparwood - Elk Valley Leisure Centre.

AROUND THE EDDIE: Creston Valley Thunder Cats continue to pursue the Nitro's in the standings winning both their weekend games, 1-0 over the Nitehawks and 6-2 over the Golden Rockets on Saturday. The Rockets lost 4-3 in overtime the night prior against the Border Bruins. The Columbia Valley Rockies split their weekend, losing 3-2 to the Rebels, and then downing the Border Bruins 9-2. The Ghostriders won their lone game 4-2 against the Beaver Valley Nitehawks.

Photo by Jonathan Righton - Subway 7th Player

ICYMI: Fight between Kimberley Dynamiters Mack & Castlegar Rebels Goodwin

Saturday, 4 November 2017

KIJHL Power Rankings - October 2017

Welcome to the second edition of the KIJHL Power Rankings for the 2017-18 season.

First off, apologies for being tardy. I have personally spent a large amount of time shovelling these past few days. Also, I have tried something different statistically for this month.

In the past the power rankings have been accumulative, meaning that it is a total of everything that has happened so far in the year (like those year end exams in high school, I hated those). This go around, I have isolated stats to help us see just the numbers from the past month, not including September.

I hope that this does a better job of capturing how teams performed during the previous month. However, the downside of this is it does a horrible job of noticing teams that get hot during the end and start of a month.

After that long speech, here are the highlights from this months Power Rankings.

  • Top Teams: Beaver Valley Nitehawks, Kimberley Dynamiters, and Nelson Leafs
  • Hottest Teams (greatest increase from the previous month): Creston Valley Thunder Cats, Sicamous Eagles, and Osoyoos Coyotes
  • Coldest Teams (greatest decreases from the previous month): Grand Forks Border Bruins, Summerland Steam, Golden Rockets
  • I don't want to play in the Neil Murdoch division, three of the top four are from that division.
  • The Fernie Ghostriders get an asterisk this go around, due to the tragedy in mid October there just hasn't been enough data to capture.
Here is the full list:

It's Game Day! Kimberley Dynamiters vs Castlegar Rebels

Friday, 3 November 2017

The Kimberley Dynamiters add veteran forward Nick Graham

On Wednesday the Kimberley Dynamiters announced that they traded for forward Nick Graham from the Princeton Posse.

Graham is in his second full season in the KIJHL. Last season he scored four goals and three assists in 39 games while amassing 113 penalty minutes.

So far this season with the Posse, Graham has five goals and 30 penalty minutes in 16 games.

The news of the trade came as a surprise for Graham. He reported that he did not ask for a trade. He knew he was being traded when he received a text message mid-Wednesday from the Posse head coach asking him to come to the arena office.

"I knew what that meant. He invited me into the office, and let me know that I was going to go to Kimberley; that it will be a good experience, and that the Nitro's are a good club."

Even with the surprise, Graham is optimistic about the trade. "It means good new things, and new experiences."

Graham said that he is a hard working forward, and quick on his skates. He hopes to be able to bring both those aspects to the Nitro's. It was for those reasons, that head coach and general manager acquired Graham.

"Nick is a veteran forward who works extremely hard, skates well and plays on the edge." Stuart said. "We are harder to play against with this addition and are excited to welcome Nick to our group."

Graham is expected to arrive in Kimberley in time for Tuesday's game against the Fernie Ghostriders in Sparwood.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Captain Coy: Former Nitro named captain of the Canmore Eagles

Coy Prevost, a former Kimberley Dynamiters, and local Kimberley player, has been named the captain of the Canmore Eagles.

Prevost wore the Dynamiters jersey during the 2014-15 season when the Nitro's won the KIJHL Championship and silver at the 2015 Cyclone Taylor Cup. In that season, Prevost scored 14 goals and 35 assists as a rookie in 50 games, earning him the Eddie Mountain Division Rookie of the Year honors.

He was also instrumental during the teams championship playoff run, scoring 11 goals and eight assists in 22 playoff games.

After that season he went on to join the Canmore Eagles, and has since averaged nearly a point per game in his 120 game Junior A career. He has 41 goals and 46 goals to his name. He also won the teams Rookie of the Year in the 2015-16 season with the Eagles.

This being his last Junior eligible season, he was picked by his teammates to be the captain.

"It feels great to have that kind of respect from my team." Prevost said, adding that he is a concsious and present leader.

Looking back on his first junior hockey season with the Nitro's as a building block to where he is now.

"I would say my time in Kimberley taught me a lot, as a person and a hockey player." He said, "It developed me back after a couple tough bounces (injuries) and taught me that eventually persistence pays off."

Prevost now looks forward to leading the Eagles in his final Junior season.

Photo from Canmore Eagles website

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Kimberley Dynamitres lose and win big as they split weekend road games

After a three game home stand, the Kimberley Dynamiters hopped over the division line going over the Salmo-Creston pass to play in Castlegar, and then crossed the national border for a date in Spokane against the Braves.

The Nitro's were short handed six regulars all road trip, due to illness, injuries and suspensions.

The road trip started out well for the Nitro's, as head coach and general manager Derek Stuart reported that his team actually outshot the Castlegar Rebels 12-6 in the first, not tied 5-5 as reported on the boxscore.

"We just didn't get the bounces." Stuart said. "In the first ten minutes we could have easily been up. We came out and dominated those first ten minutes. We didn't bear down on our chances.

The Dynamiters game began to snowball out of control after being down 1-0 in the first 20.

"After that, [Castlegar] got one and it snowballed from there. It snowballed, and we weren't able to stop it."

The Rebels scored two quick goals in the second period, and then the penalties began to mount.

The speedy Rebels would capitalize in the power play in the third, and then add another goal to blow the Nitro's out 5-0.

Adam Andersen came in for relief for Cody Campbell after the fourth goal. The two combined for 29 saves.

With the lineup shortages, the Nitro's dressed two affiliate players: Jackson Bohan ('01) and Erik Delaire ('01), both are from Cranbrook.

"They did really good. Castlegar is a really good team, and they both did well."

Needless to say, this was a game that the Dynamiters wanted to forget, and they wanted to bounce back against the Spokane Braves.

The Braves, however, had a different plan. On an early power play, the Braves took a 1-0 lead. Their goaltender turned aside the 21 shots fired at him that period. It's as if the Nitro's couldn't shake loose of the snowball created the night before.

In the second intermission, Stuart addressed the team.

"Part of our struggles may have been cockiness in the room, because we had our way with them the last time we were there.

"We had to remind them of how hard Spokane played a week ago, that they are good hockey club, and we need to step up our game and treat them like a good hockey club and respect them."

What was said in the dressing room, lit the Dynamiters fuse, they exploded with four goals in the second period. Brandt Bertoia, James Farmer and Langridge led the charge, by the end of the game, that line would tally nine points.

Bertoia opened the scoring on a break away goal, a play that Stuart says is a setup play. Then the Nitro's began firing in power play goal after power play goal. Chase Gedny, then Farmer, and then Nicholas Ketola. It was all of a sudden 4-1 for the Nitro's after two periods.

Bertoia and Farmer would score their second goals each in the third, and then Austin Lawson would give the Nitro's a commanding 7-1 lead over the Braves.

"Aside from the first, we were excellent in Spokane. In the second and third period was they way that we are capable of playing, and everyone stepped their game up. Everyone played we needed them to play."

Campbell made 31 saves in a rebound effort from the game prior.

"We planned on starting Campbell both games before we left. I think it is time for him to start playing more as the starter."

The Dynamiters finish October with a 7-2 record, and have a nine point lead in the division while sitting tied with the Nelson Leafs for top spot in the KIJHL.

Lead photo by Frank Guill Photography

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Kimberley Dynamiters September Player of the Month: Cody Campbell

The Kimberley Dynamiters named Cody Campbell as their September Player of the Month.

"It's pretty cool." Campbell said "But it doesn't happen without the team in front of me playing so well. I don't get this kind of recognition without the guys in front of me playing so well."

Head coach and general manager Derek Stuart said, “Cody is very deserving of this recognition for the month of September.

"He went 4-0 including a 42 save performance in Beaver Valley in his first game back with the team. He’s the best goalie in our conference and he continues to prove it every night”

Campbell won all four of the games he started in, turning away 123 of the 131 shots he faced, including one shutout.

"My personal numbers are not just a reflection of me, but also the team in front of me." Campbell added.

Campbell joined the Kimberley Dynamiters a couple of games into September after finishing a tryout at the Junior A level in Alberta.

"It means a lot to me thought that the coaching staff found that kind of value with only playing a few games. It is exciting that they want to recognize me."

For Campbell, he said the highlight of the previous month was how closely knit the team is compared to last year.

"What stood out the most is how cohesive the team is. We are already working together as a unit, not just on the ice but off the ice. It just shows that we are prepared as a group."

Overall, Campbell is just excited about the potential this season.

"We have a really special group. We have a real opportunity to do something special this year."

Photo by Jonathan Righton

Monday, 23 October 2017

The Kimberley Dynamiters remain undefeated at home

The Kimberley Dynamiters played three home games in a row last weekend, as they looked to keep their undefeated home record intact.

The Nitro's home-stand against the Neil Murdoch division leaders, the Nelson Leafs. The Leafs are lead by former Dynamiters, Sawyer Hunt, who is now finishing his junior career captaining his hometown team.

From the start of the game, it felt like it was a playoff game, if not even a teaser of a potential Kootenay Conference final.

"It felt like a playoff game in the room and on the bench," head coach and general manager Derek Stuart said. "It was a good matchup of two of the better teams in our conference. It looked like a playoff style game."

The Dynamiters league leading power play got them an early 1-0 lead, thanks to Chase Gedny, at the midway point of the first.

From that point on it was a deadlock game, as every centimeter of the ice was highly contested.

Just as the 527 fans in attendance thought the Nitro's would skate away with a 1-0 victory, the Nelson Leafs scored with just under five minutes left.

This game was headed to over time. The first over time period was four-on-four.

The Leafs were penalized with 15 seconds left in the first over time period. The Nitro's had a great opportunity with a faceoff in the attacking zone. Faceoff was won, but they went offside, and eight seconds remained on the clock.

Plans were being made for the second over time period. Nitro's won the faceoff, and with four seconds left on the clock Matt Davies rushed the net, taking a shot, a rebound was left and Devon Langelaar banged home the rebound milli-seconds before the buzzer went.

The Dynamiters won 2-1 in overtime!

"They didn't give up." Stuart said of Davies and Langelaar. "It was very impressive to see them press right until the buzzer."

Nitro's September player of the month Cody Campbell made 24 saves in his sixth win of the season.

"Campbell was excellent, and so was Williams for Nelson." Stuart said. "It was a goaltenders battle. That was Campbell's best game of the year so far."

Next up was the shortened-bench Spokane Braves. The Braves iced 13 skaters, plus their starting and backup goaltender.

The 484 fans, and even the Nitro's were surprised, yet impressed, with how the Braves played, keeping the first 20 minutes scoreless.

"Credit to them, the Braves were outstanding." Stuart said. "They worked really hard and battled with 13 skaters."

Gedny scored his second goal of the weekend early in the second, but the Braves responded right back. After 40 minutes, it was a tie, but the Nitro's were leading in shots 32-18.

Stuart was pleased with the Nitro's play, "We had plenty of prime scoring chances, but their goalie was just made some unbelievable saves."

In the third, the Nitro's began to pull away from the Braves. Nicholas Ketoa, who always ups his game against his hometown team, gave the Nitro's the lead. Then Davies made it a two goal lead with a power play goal.

Adam Andersen would make 19 saves for his fourth win of the season.

"It was a battle, and a hard earned victory"

The third game of the homestand was against the Golden Rockets. Before the puck dropped, the team honored and recognized the contribution of the parents of the players - with the players giving their mom's roses.

"Its nice before and after games to go visit with them" Brandon Langridge said about having his parents at the game. "But our main focus didn't change."

The Nitro's were geared and ready to impress their parents as 12 different players would register a point.

"We got back to focusing on our actions, instead of results," Stuart said.

Brandt Bertoia and Brant Mack would open the scoring in the first, with each of them getting a goal.

The Dynamiters then exploded for three goals in the middle period, as Ketola, Cam Russell and Brock Palmer would each score. It was 5-0 after the first, the shots were onesided as well, 31-16.

Ketola and Palmer would increase the lead to 7-0.

It was at the four minutes left mark that drew a lot of attention. Palmer was hit, and teammates Davies, Ketola and Lucas Chilton came to his aid. In that moment, six game misconducts were handed out to go along with 82 minutes worth of penalties.

"I'm not too upset that Davies did what he did. When something like that happens, it was good to see the team stand up for each other."

As of right now, Ketola was given a one-game suspension because of the time of his game misconduct, and Davies is suspended two games for fighting and the game misconduct.

With the three wins the past weekend the Dynamiters now improve to 7-0 at home, and have now won five straight.

Stuart credits short shifts and the crowd for the teams success over the three games. "The crowd definitely helped. They were a big influence on the players."

Langridge agreed, "With all the parents and the fans in the crowd it made it a lot easier."

It is interesting to note, that the Nitro's continue to play without two key defenders, Mason Palaga and captain Brett Roberts.

"There is something to be said for opportunities." Stuart says. "To see our depth as good as it is this early is a good surprise. It is very encouraging for down the line since the players are showing us that they can play."

The Dynamiters now prepare for a road swing visiting Castlegar and Spokane.

Lead photo by Jonathan Righton

Friday, 20 October 2017

Kimberley Dynamiters controversial OT winning goal against Nelson Leafs. You be the judge.

As the first OT period came to an end against the Nelson Leafs, Matt Davies bursts in with just over four seconds left, his shot is stopped and Devon Langelaar bangs home the rebound. The goal was awarded just before the buzzer sounded, you be the judge.

It's Game Day! Kimberley Dynamiters vs Spokane Braves

Thursday, 19 October 2017

It's Game Day! Kimberley Dynamiters vs Nelson Leafs

KIJHL Clutch Scorers October 19, 2017

It's time for the first KIJHL Clutch Scoring list of the 2017-18 season.

The goal of this stats analysis is to capture the moments when a player contributes in a clutch manner, such as scoring the game winning goal, or assisting on a short handed goal.

Power play goals, short handed goals, and game winning goals are worth two points. Power play assists, and short handed assists are one point. Add the total together and we get an understanding of who in the KIJHL is scoring at clutch times.

Birth years are included just so we can see the age diversity.

Here are a couple highlights:
  • Jordan Robertson of the Border Bruins is on top of the list, and a slight lead over Nitehawks Dylan Heppler
  • Reese Tambellini from the Border Bruins and Cody Flann from the Grizzlies are the youngest players on the list, both born in 2000.
  • Since this is the Kimberley Dynamiters blog, two players made the list, Brock Palmer and James Farmer.
  • You will notice that the clutch scoring doesn't completely line up league scoring.
Congratulations to Robertson and Heppler for taking the 1-2 spots to start the season.

Here is the full list, click to make larger.