Training camp is in the books for the KIJHL’s defending champion Kimberley Dynamiters.
The Nitros opened camp Friday, Sept. 4 at the Kimberley Civic Centre, working through three days of practices, intrasquad scrimmages and a variety of off-ice sessions.
Having invited 33 players to camp (six goaltenders, nine defencemen and 18 forwards), Dynamiters general manager Mike Reid trimmed the roster to 20 (three goaltenders, six defencemen and 11 forwards) along with four affiliates (two goaltenders, one defenceman and one forward) on Sunday.
“We’re pretty happy with camp. Right from the start we had decided we were going to run a small camp and invite kids that had a legitimate shot at making the team,” Reid said Monday afternoon. “The camp was very competitive. We were very happy with the tempo — it stayed high all weekend. Guys were finishing their checks, playing hard. We really liked what we saw in terms of the compete level.”
There remains to be decisions made in the goaltending department, with three goaltenders still in Kimberley in addition to two others listed as affiliates.
While Tyson Brouwer is a lock to retain the starting role, competition remains as 18-year-olds Cody Call of Williams Lake, B.C., and Jack Page of Calgary, Alta., found their way onto the active roster coming out of training camp.
As for the skaters, a count of 17 bodies might seem low. That’s because it is.
“We don’t believe in keeping people around just to keep them around, unless they’re legitimately competing for a job,” Reid said. “We knew with what we had out there, for sure, we’re going to get a couple [Junior A] guys back or a couple [Junior A] players we’ve been recruiting will show up at some point. They will be able to step right into our lineup, so we want to save spots for them.”
Forwards Sawyer Hunt, Coy Prevost and Braden Saretsky, and defenceman Jonas Gordon are in camp with the AJHL’s Canmore Eagles and it sounds as though they will stick at the Junior ‘A’ level.
Meanwhile, forward Keenan Haase remains in camp with the Weyburn Red Wings of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and forward Jordan Roy is still in Kennewick, Wash., with the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League.
With camp complete, the focus shifts towards the regular season, with the Nitros set to open the 2015-16 KIJHL campaign in Invermere against the Columbia Valley Rockies at the Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena on Friday, Sept. 11 at 7;30 p.m.
“We’re going to run some pretty hard practices,” Reid said. “A lot of defensive-zone type practices, along with battle drills to get ourselves tuned up.
“We’re probably the only team in the league that didn’t play an exhibition game, so we’re perhaps a little bit behind in that way. But with the amount of vets we have coming back, and the talent level, we’re not too concerned about it. We know in the next three nights we can get ourselves prepared for Friday night in Invermere.”
Following Friday’s season opener against the Rockies, the Dynamiters return home to host the Golden Rockets on Saturday, Sept. 12 at 7 p.m.
KIMBERLEY DYNAMITERS ROSTER:
Goaltenders (3)Tyson Brouwer (1995) – Lethbridge, Alta.Cody Call (1997) – Williams Lake, B.C.Jack Page ((1997) – Calgary, Alta.
Defencemen (6)George Bertoia (1998) – Taber, Alta.Jordan Busch (1995) – Edmonton, Alta.Tristan Pagura (1997) – Kimberley, B.C.Lucas Purdy (1998) – Kimberley, B.C.Justin Meier (1995) – Taber, Alta. Tyler Van Steinburg (1998) – Kimberley, B.C.
Forwards (11)Eric Buckley (1995) – Penticton, B.C.Marco Campanella (1997) – Kimberley, B.C.Korbyn Chabot (1999) – Cranbrook, B.C.James Farmer (1997) – Strathmore, Alta.Jared Marchi (1995) – Kimberley, B.C.Austyn Moser (1997) – Taber, Alta. Jason Richter (1996) – Cranbrook, B.C.James Rota (1998) – Kimberley, B.C.Trevor Van Steinburg (1997) – Kimberley, B.C.Justin Van Tetering (1997) – Red Deer, Alta.Jesse Wallace (1997) – Kimberley, B.C.
Affiliate Players (4)G – Cal Macleod (1999) – Kimberley, B.C.G – Adam Anderson (2000) – Kimberley, B.C.D – Chase Leroux (1998) – Kimberley, B.C.F – Rylan D’Etcheverry (1998) – Kimberley, B.C.