The Kimberley Dynamiters (16-6-0-0) are looking to close out the month of November on a positive note as they face two divisional rivals this weekend.
The Columbia Valley Rockies (6-13-0-3) come to the Kimberley Civic Centre on Friday. The Rockies enter the game having lost their last match, and are only winners in three of their last 10.
The Columbia Valley squad are led by youth, all five of the top scorers are born in 1998, and four of them are rookies to the KIJHL.
In net is Connor McKay, a goalie who has netted a goal this season and faces an average of 41 shots per game, so don’t let his high GAA fool you.
The previous two meetings between the Rockies and Dynamiters have been road games for the Nitros, and the result has been decided by one goal, with each team winning one. This could be another close matchup, but look for the Dynamiters to feed off their fans, as they have in the past.
The big test this weekend will take place at the Fernie Memorial Arena as the Nitros take on the Ghostriders (14-7-0-1). The Riders are one of the hottest teams in the KIJHL. They have won their past six games, and have victories in eight of their past 10.
They don’t boast a league leading scorer, but have three forwards averaging a point per game — Mitch Titus, Justin Peers, and Ryan Kennedy — not to mention defenceman Alex Cheveldave who earns nearly a point per game, but is more known for getting under the skin of the Dynamiters.
The two teams have split their meetings earlier this season, with each team winning one game a piece. This match will determine just how close the Riders can get to the Dynamiters in the Eddie Mountain Division standings.
As for the Dynamiters, they will look to continue being a hard team to play against while also trying to stabilize what head coach and general manager Derek Stuart has called “a weird month” with lopsided wins and lopsided losses.
Friday’s game at the Civic Centre against the Rockies starts at 7 p.m. and Saturday’s tilt at the Fernie Memorial Arena is at 7:30 p.m.
MATCH STICKS: Garreth Osmar has been removed from the injured list and is cleared to play. That leaves James Rota as the lone Nitro on the IR.
For up-to-date Kimberley Dynamiter information visit: www.kimberleydynamiters.net/blog. Also follow Josh on twitter @joshuaklockhart.