Kimberley Dynamiters forward Jared Marchi (#15) celebrates his game-tying goal in the third period of Monday's 3-2 win over the Fernie Ghostriders.

Kimberley Dynamiters forward Jared Marchi (#15) celebrates his game-tying goal in the third period of Monday's 3-2 win over the Fernie Ghostriders.

KIJHL: Dynamiters slip past Ghostriders in annual holiday gathering

Dynamiters score third-period comeback to get past Fernie Ghostriders Monday at the Kimberley Civic Centre

When the Kimberley Dynamiters and Fernie Ghostriders get together, it’s always an exciting night to be at the rink and Monday evening was no exception.

The annual East Kootenay holiday tradition was in its finest form, as the Dynamiters and Ghostriders went back-and-forth, before the hosts claimed an electrifying 3-2 victory in KIJHL action in front of 1,019 fans at the Kimberley Civic Centre.

Pesky winger Eric Buckley scored the difference-maker with 5:17 remaining in the third period, doing exactly what he does best — parking himself on top of the blue paint before banging a rebound past Ghostriders goaltender Jeff Orser.

“It’s probably one of the better feelings,” Buckley said of beating the Ghostriders. “The only thing better is beating them in the playoffs.

“You’ve got to pay the price to get those dirty goals. I’ve been doing it for a while now…It was a nice shot by [Justin] Meier there and a tip by [Keenan] Haase right to me and I had an empty net.”

Buckley’s effort, his career-high 16th goal of the campaign, capped a third-period comeback from the host Nitros, who trailed 2-1 heading into the final 20 minutes of regulation.

With word coming down that Dynamiters captain Jason Richter is expected to miss the duration of the regular season due to an upper-body injury, Buckley’s leadership and presence has become even more important.

“A great role model for our guys is Eric Buckley, who the other team runs at and takes liberties with constantly,” said Jerry Bancks, head coach of the Kimberley Dynamiters.

“His dogged determination, it’s going to be critical. He’s a special player. He’s a special kid.”

It was another Nitros leader who started the comeback as Jared Marchi knotted the game at 2-2 less than five minutes into the third period, bringing most of the 1,019 in attendance to their feet.

The win didn’t come easy for the hosts as the visitors came out with a strong start off the opening puck drop.

“We started great for the first five minutes and then we just seemed to stop playing our game,” Bancks said. “They took it to us a bit.

“In the second and third period, we clearly started to take the game over… We didn’t give them a lot of scoring chances. Our ‘D’ played extremely well.”

The first period provided nothing short of the usual fireworks fans have come to expect from the Dynamiters and Ghostriders.

Both Eddie Mountain Division rivals came out roaring, with bodies flying left, right and centre as each side fought to establish a physical presence early on.

“I heard a lot about the Kimberley-Fernie rivalry from my buddies who played here before,” said Ghostriders alternate captain Zach Befus. “I never really realized until I came and saw for myself. It’s crazy. It’s good. It gets you excited. It gets you nervous — that feeling when your stomach is churning before the game. It’s huge.

“It’s a tough one [to lose]. It’s going to sting.”

Aidan Wilson and Ryan Kennedy struck midway through the opening period to give Fernie a quick 2-0 lead, sucking plenty of energy out of the jam-packed Kimberley Civic Centre.

Late in the period, with Dynamiters defenceman Jordan Busch serving an interference penalty, Justin Meier did what all coaches beg of their players — put the puck on net.

From his own blueline, the veteran rearguard hammered one in on Orser, surprising himself and everyone else in the building after hearing the thud of rubber finding the back of the net.

“We came out and played a fabulous first period,” said Craig Mohr, head coach and general manager of the Fernie Ghostriders. “They get one from their far end — that’s the one-in-a-million shot that goes by Ors. He’s feeling bad in there and he shouldn’t. Those things happen.

“The second and third period, that hockey team [the Dynamiters] outworked our hockey team…We try to try to pride ourselves on being one of the harder working teams in this league and we got outworked by Beaver Valley before Christmas and we just got outworked again. There’s going to be a little meeting with the fellas on the bus ride home.”

It was certainly a goal Orser wanted back, but provided some life to a Nitros squad that had gotten off to a slow start.

“Things weren’t really going well for us right then,” Bancks said. “That [goal by Meier] picked us up. It was definitely a turning point.”

Despite hearing a litany of general unpleasantry from the Civic Centre crowd, Orser wasn’t fazed, making a handful of key stops moments later and through the rest of regulation, including turning aside a glorious two-on-one opportunity initiated by Trey Doell. Austyn Moser redirected the pass in on the Fernie net, only to see the silvery left pad of Orser kick out to reject his efforts.

As is commonplace when Fernie and Kimberley meet, the 60-minute get-together featured plenty of physical play, with both teams earning their fair share of power-play opportunities. By the end of regulation, only the Ghostriders managed a power-play goal off the stick of Kennedy.

At the end of the night, Orser turned aside 34 of the 37 shots he faced, more than making up for the lone gaff in the first period.

“We outplayed them five-on-five, quite significantly,” Bancks said. “I thought Orser played really well other than the long bomb.”

At the other end of the rink, Brouwer was good on 25 of 27 shots, earning his league-leading 21st victory of the season.

The two teams will get right back to it Tuesday night when the Ghostriders (19-11-0-3) host the Dynamiters (27-4-0-3) at the Fernie Memorial Arena (7:30 p.m.)

“I don’t get fired up too much at our team, but the one thing that will fire me up is when we get outworked,” Mohr said. “They’ve got to know it. That effort in the second and third period was not good enough to beat a really good hockey team and that’s not the way we play.

“We’ve got to play Kimberley [Tuesday]. If this is a playoff game, we’ve got to speak our minds, let [the players] know it was unacceptable and then move on. You can’t let it sit with you. You can’t let it build. It’s a hockey game. It’s over. We’ve got to win [Tuesday] in our own barn.

The Ghostriders sit three points ahead of the fourth-place Columbia Valley Rockies (19-16-0-0) with two games in hand, while the Dynamiters hold a firm grasp on first place, 16 points ahead of Fernie and the Creston Valley Thunder Cats (19-10-1-2).

“They’re right on our heels,” Mohr said of the Rockies. “We dont want to fall out of this race here. [The players] have been quite resilient all year when I’ve cracked the whip on them. I’m expecting we’re going to be real good [Tuesday].”

With files from Sara Moulton

 

Just Posted

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

1914
It happened this week in 1914

June 13 - 19: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

Prince Charles Secondary School
School District 8 votes in favour of name change for Secondary School in Creston

In an act of reconciliation, a new name will be chosen for Prince Charles Secondary School

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. Photo courtesy Conservative Party of Canada.
MP Morrison appointed to parliamentary national security committee

Kootenay-Columbia parliamentarian one of five candidates appointed to national security committee

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

An old growth cedar stands in a cut-block within the Caycuse Valley. More than 100 prominent Canadians, have signed an open letter calling for the immediate protection of all remaining old-growth forests in B.C. (Submitted)
Brian Mulroney and Greta Thunberg among 100 celebrities pushing to save B.C. old growth

List includes Indigenous leaders, scientists, authors, Oscar winners

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on Friday, February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
U.S. border restrictions to remain in place until at least July 21

Safety minister says Canada, U.S. extending restrictions on non-essential international travel

Himalayan Life helped finance the construction of Nepal’s Yangri Academic Centre and dormitories after a 2015 earthquake devastated the valley, killing more than 9,000 people. (Screen grab/Peter Schaeublin)
B.C. charity founder pledges to rebuild Nepalese school swept away by flash floods

6 years after a catastrophic earthquake killed more than 9,000 people, Nepal gets hit again

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read