Explosive offense keeps Nitros rolling

The Kimberley Dynamiters remains undefeated in KIJHL action after topping the Columbia Valley Rockies and Castlegar Rebels this weekend

Taylor Rocca

The Kimberley Dynamiters claimed back-to-back victories this weekend, doubling up the Columbia Valley Rockies 6-3 at home Saturday night before defeating the Castlegar Rebels 7-4 in a Sunday-afternoon road contest.

“We kind of let [the Rebels] back in it, but for the majority of the game, we dominated,” said Kimberley Dynamiters head coach Jerry Bancks in regards to his team’s win Sunday afternoon.

The Dynamiters got out to a quick 4-0 lead in Castlegar, roughing up Rebels starting goaltender Patrick Zubick for four goals in prior to the midway point of the opening frame.

Sunday’s contest was the third game in three nights for Castlegar. The Rebels hosted the Spokane Braves Friday night, falling 4-3. The Rebels then stole a 3-2 overtime win from the Thunder Cats in Creston Saturday night.

“We came out really strong [Sunday],” Bancks said. “If we came out, even in the warm-up, and showed lots of energy just to show them we were fresh and ready to go [we knew we would have success].”

Nitros F Coy Prevost led the offensive onslaught over the weekend, racking up six points. The 17-year-old local product nabbed two assists in Saturday’s win over Columbia Valley, before firing up three goals and one assist Sunday afternoon in Castlegar.

The 6-foot-1 forward registered two goals in the opening frame against the Rebels, the second of which came on the power play and would stand as the game-winning goal on the afternoon.

Despite two resounding victories this weekend and a three-game winning streak to start the season, there’s still plenty of work to be done according to Bancks. Special teams was a particular sore spot in the eyes of the Kimberley bench boss, as the Nitros went a combined 3-for-17 (17.6 per cent) on the man advantage and 10-for-14 (71.4 per cent) on the penalty kill this weekend.

“We are certainly going to be practicing our power play and penalty kill [this week],” Bancks said. “[The Rebels] used a real pressure-type penalty kill, which we don’t see a lot of in our division, or we didn’t last year. We weren’t very good at dealing with it [Sunday].

“We had a little bit of trouble adapting to it…We break the puck out no problem, but we’re having trouble moving it in the zone, so we have to fix that.”

Tyson Brouwer turned in two more steady performances between the pipes, steering aside 39 of the 46 shots he faced over the weekend, including 18 from the Rockies and 21 from the Rebels.

The Kimberley netminder has manned the crease for all three Nitros victories this season, posting a 3.00 goals-against average (GAA) and 0.883 save percentage (SP). In two seasons with the Dynamiters, the 19-year-old native of Lethbridge, Alta. is 13-8-1 with a 2.98 GAA and 0.904 SP.

“We know Tyson is there for us. He’s a good goaltender. He proved in the playoffs last year he’s a money goaltender,” Bancks said. “He seems to always make that big save to keep you in the game.

“He doesn’t make all the saves, but he makes the important ones.”

The Dynamiters face a week of practice leading up to their next action. Friday, Sept. 26, Kimberley heads back to the West Kootenay to face the Nelson Leafs before returning home for a rematch with the Castlegar Rebels Sept. 27 at the Kimberley Civic Centre.