The Kimberley Dynamiters earned a two-game split on home ice this weekend, falling 4-0 to the Osoyoos Coyotes Friday before getting past the Golden Rockets 6-4 Saturday.
“[The Coyotes] were much more physical than us,” said Kimberley Dynamiters head coach Jerry Bancks Monday afternoon. “When you play that way, you get your feet moving. They played well. They’re a good team. It was a good eye-opener for our guys.
“They just took it to us.”
Friday night, goaltender Brett Reader made his Kimberley Dynamiters debut after Liam McBain was deemed not fit to play due to a bout with strep throat.
Reader, an 18-year-old native of Langley, B.C., turned in a stellar performance, stopping 30 of the 34 shots he faced in his debut.
The 5-foot-11 Reader gave his team a chance to win, turning aside 23 of the 24 shots he faced through the opening 40 minutes of play.
“I thought he played extremely well,” Bancks said of Reader. “He probably would like to have one back, but he also kept us in the game. Being down 1-0 going into the third with a power play, we had a chance to win and that was all on his shoulders.
“Friday he proved that he’s a gamer.”
After Colten Braid put one past the rookie puck-stopper early in the second period, Jackson DeMatos gave the Coyotes some insurance with a short-handed tally early in the third.
Colin Bell and Aaron Azevedo rounded out the scoring for the Coyotes, who got a 19-save shutout performance between the pipes from Lawrence Langan.
Saturday night was an all-Eddie Mountain Division match-up as the Golden Rockets travelled south to Kimberley.
After Friday’s setback, the Dynamiters were able to get back into the win column thanks to a two-goal performance by forward Tyson Klingspohn. The Penticton native continues to lead the KIJHL in goal-scoring with 19 goals in 18 games.
Forward Eric Buckley chipped in with a goal and three assists of his own.
Defenceman Jordan Busch made his return to the lineup, after serving a one-game suspension Friday against the Coyotes. The blue-liner grabbed two assists in the win and according to Bancks, his presence had an immediate impact.
“He always tries to make a play,” Bancks said of Busch. “He has really good vision and does a great job [moving the puck]. When he’s in the lineup, we tend to break out of our end a lot better.”
After sitting out Friday, goaltender Liam McBain was healthy enough to start Saturday, stopping 24 of the 28 shots he faced.
A rough third period led to some extra-curricular activity between the whistles.
Dynamiters defenceman Charles Dagostin received a one-game suspension Sunday after he received a game misconduct in the final 10 minutes of the win over Golden.
Dagostin earned the misconduct after getting into a scrap with Rockets defenceman Daniel Dahlin, who was also ejected from the game. Dahlin was also on the receiving end of a one-game suspension Sunday.
The Nitros (12-4-0-2) sit one point back of the Fernie Ghostriders (13-2-0-1), who got past the Coyotes 4-3 in overtime Saturday night.
Friday marks the first contest of the year between the two Eddie Mountain Division rivals, as the Dynamiters make the trek to Fernie for a 7:30 p.m. puck drop.