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KIJHL: Dynamiters bring back the pink

KIJHL's defending champions don pink sweaters to be auctioned through October in support of Starlite Campaign
The leadership core of the Kimberley Dynamiters

After spending the bulk of two weeks on the road to end the month of September, the Kimberley Dynamiters return home to open the month of October with five consecutive games in the friendly confines of the Civic Centre.

With the Revelstoke Grizzlies visiting Kimberley Friday night, fans will once again pour through the doors of the old barn. This time, they might be caught off guard when they realize the defending KIJHL champions look drastically different.

When the Dynamiters step onto the ice Friday, they'll be sporting brand-new, vibrant pink sweaters in support of the East Kootenay Foundation for Health (EKFH) and its annual Starlite Campaign.

"Several years ago we had a very successful jersey fundraiser with EKFH and the digital mammography campaign," said Chad Koran, president of the Dynamiters. "That donation made a big difference to people with breast cancer diagnosis so we wanted to help again this year."

According to Koran, the Nitros last took up this initiative in 2013-14, raising approximately $3,000 for EKFH.

Captain Jason Richter is just one Kimberley Dynamiter player whose life has been impacted by breast cancer.

The Cranbroook native recalls his grandmother's successful defeat of the disease.

"My grandma had breast cancer a couple years ago and she beat it," said the 19-year-old. "It definitely affected my family in a pretty big way. It's pretty special we get to go out there and support awareness for it.

"It's really special to me. I'm sure a lot of other guys on the team have been affected by it in some way, too."

A silent-auction format fundraiser will run through the month of October at all seven Kimberley Dynamiters home games, in which people can bid on each unique, player-worn jersey.

The auction will conclude at the 10-minute mark of the third period on Sunday, Oct. 25 when the Nitros host the Chase Heat. Puck drop is set for 2 p.m. that day.

Proceeds raised from the month-long auction will go to EKFH and dedicated towards the purchase of a sentinel node biopsy probe, which helps in determining the staging of certain types of cancers in order to see if the disease has spread to lymph nodes.

This technique also helps surgeons determine the appropriate therapy for a cancer patient.

Fans will get a first-hand look at the fresh threads Friday night.

In the meantime, Richter expects Dynamiters' leading scorer Eric Buckley to look rather sharp in the pink duds, but suggested hulking defenceman George Bertoia might look a little out of place in the bright attire.

Fans can make that determination for themselves beginning Friday at 7 p.m. when the Dynamiters host the Grizzlies.

The Nitros edged the Grizzlies by a 4-3 margin Saturday in Revelstoke, though Richter said the score wasn't necessarily indicative of the game.

"They're going to come out pretty hard, probably," Richter said. "I think we outplayed them in Revelstoke.

"I think it'll be a good game.

"I'm pretty excited to get in front of all the hometown fans. It's going to be pretty nice to not live out of my hockey bag or a suit case for the weekends."