The Kimberley Dynamiters will begin their title defense in Invermere against the Columbia Valley Rockies on Friday

The Kimberley Dynamiters will begin their title defense in Invermere against the Columbia Valley Rockies on Friday

KIJHL: Dynamiters begin title defense against Rockies

Season opener Sept. 11 in Invermere; home opener Sept. 12 against Golden Rockets

The Kimberley Dynamiters will open the 2015-16 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League season at the Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena in Invermere against the Columbia Valley Rockies as they look to defend their 2015 KIJHL title.

The Nitros visits the Rockies on Friday, Sept. 11 at 7:30 p.m. to open the new campaign.

Dynamiters general manager Mike Reid confirmed the 52-game schedule Thursday morning.

For Nitro Nation, the wait to welcome Kimberley’s junior hockey squad back to the Civic Centre won’t be a long one as the squad hosts the Golden Rockets in its home-opener Saturday, Sept. 12 at 7 p.m.

Less than a week after the home opener, the Dynamiters will embark on a season high six-game road trip from Sept. 18 through Sept. 27.

Across the 10-day swing, the Nitros will tour through the B.C. Interior, with a KIJHL championship rematch against the Kamloops Storm on Saturday, Sept. 19, featuring as a highlight on the trip. The road trip will also see the Dynamiters visit the 100 Mile House Wranglers (Sept. 18), Sicamous Eagles (Sept. 20), Chase Heat (Sept. 25), Revelstoke Grizzlies (Sept. 26) and Golden Rockets (Sept. 27).

After only playing one home game at the Kimberley Civic Centre in the month of September, the Dynamiters kick off a season high five-game homestand on Oct. 2 when the Revelstoke Grizzlies visit town.

When the KIJHL schedule was being built, effort was put in to reducing the number of times teams were faced with playing three games in three nights.

This season, the Dynamiters will play three games in three nights on three occasions: Sept. 18-20, Sept. 25-27 and Nov. 13-15.

During the 2014-15 season, the Nitros played three games in three nights on four separate occasions.

In other highlights, the Storm will return to the Civic Centre Friday, Nov. 13, for the first time since the KIJHL championship series.

That same weekend will see the Nitros travel to Canal Flats for a Sunday afternoon matinee (Nov. 15) against the Columbia Valley Rockies.

The annual Fernie-Kimberley holiday showdown is once again on the schedule, with the Ghostriders visiting the Civic Centre Monday, Dec. 28. The Nitros make the trip to Fernie the following night.

In total, the Nitros will play 32 games against Eddie Mountain Division opponents. The Creston Valley Thunder Cats, Fernie Ghostriders, Golden Rockets, Columbia Valley Rockies will clash with the Dynamiters eight times each.

After taking on the Okanagan Division in 2014-15, the Dynamiters won’t face the Kelowna Chiefs, North Okangan Knights, Osoyoos Coyotes, Princeton Posse or  Summerland Steam this season.

Over the weekly calendar, the Dynamiters will play two games on Mondays, five games on Tuesdays, two games on Wednesdays, no games on Thursdays, 19 games on each of Friday and Saturday, and five games on Sundays.

Kimberley Dynamiters season tickets are on sale now and available at Sprout Grocery and Kimberley City Bakery.

Kimberley Dynamiters schedule:*home games at 7 p.m. unless noted

SeptemberFriday, Sept. 11 at Columbia ValleySaturday, Sept. 12 vs. GoldenFriday, Sept. 18 at 100 Mile HouseSaturday, Sept. 19 at KamloopsSunday, Sept. 20 at SicamousFriday, Sept. 25 at ChaseSaturday, Sept. 26 at RevelstokeSunday, Sept. 27 at Golden

OctoberFriday, Oct. 2 vs. RevelstokeSaturday, Oct. 3 vs. Columbia ValleyFriday, Oct. 9 vs. Creston ValleySaturday, Oct. 10 vs. Grand ForksFriday, Oct. 16 vs. GoldenSaturday, Oct. 17 at GoldenSaturday, Oct. 24 vs. 100 Mile HouseSunday, Oct. 25 vs. Chase (2 p.m.)Tuesday, Oct. 27 at GoldenSaturday, Oct. 31 at Columbia Valley

NovemberFriday, Nov. 6 at FernieTuesday, Nov. 10 vs. CastlegarFriday, Nov. 13 vs. KamloopsSaturday, Nov. 14 at Creston ValleySunday, Nov. 15 at Columbia Valley (Canal Flats)Friday, Nov. 20 vs. FernieSunday, Nov. 22 vs. Sicamous (2 p.m.)Friday, Nov. 27 at Columbia ValleySaturday, Nov. 28 vs. Spokane

DecemberFriday, Dec. 4 vs. NelsonWednesday, Dec. 9 at Creston ValleyFriday, Dec. 11 vs. Columbia ValleySaturday, Dec. 12 vs. Creston ValleyFriday, Dec. 18 at Creston ValleySaturday, Dec. 19 vs. GoldenMonday, Dec. 28 vs. FernieTuesday, Dec. 29 at Fernie

JanuarySaturday, Jan. 2 vs. Beaver ValleyTuesday, Jan. 5 vs. Creston ValleyFriday, Jan. 8 at GoldenSaturday, Jan. 9 at Grand ForksFriday, Jan. 15 vs. Columbia ValleySaturday, Jan. 16 at NelsonFriday, Jan. 22 vs. Columbia ValleyTuesday, Jan. 26 vs. Creston ValleySaturday, Jan. 30 at Castlegar

FebruaryWednesday, Feb. 3 at Creston ValleyFriday, Feb. 5 vs. FernieSaturday, Feb. 6 at Beaver ValleyMonday, Feb. 8 at FernieFriday, Feb. 12 at SpokaneSaturday, Feb. 13 vs. FernieFriday, Feb. 19 vs. GoldenSaturday, Feb. 20 at Fernie