The Kimberley Dynamiters face another tall divisional task Tuesday evening when they host the Golden Rockets.
The two squads have spent much of the past month leap-frogging one another in the ultra-competitive Eddie Mountain Division. In recent weeks, the Rockets have earned points in seven consecutive games to pull ahead of the Nitros, taking a firm hold on second place in the division behind the Fernie Ghostriders (19-4-1-1).
“They’re very well-coached,” said Kimberley Dynamiters head coach Jerry Bancks Monday afternoon. “System-wise, they’re very similar to us. You can’t take any shortcuts. We have to play our system as well as they will play theirs and outwork them.”
The two teams have split four meetings to this point in the campaign. The Rockets earned victories on home ice Oct. 4 and Nov. 21, while the Nitros edged the Rockets on the road Oct. 17, before using home-ice advantage for a 6-4 victory Nov. 1.
Tuesday’s tilt will be the first for the Dynamiters since a 4-1 setback at the hands of the Fernie Ghostriders Friday night. The one-game weekend allowed Bancks and his squad to get some much needed rest and regroup for a busy December.
“Having Saturday and Sunday off was really healthy for the team,” Bancks said. “We’ve played a lot of hockey lately, had a lot of people sick and banged up so it was nice to get some days off.”
Forward Braden Saretsky is in Kimberley and expected to play Tuesday night after being acquired from the Summerland Steam in exchange for Tyson Klingspohn Friday evening.
Bancks expects to utilize the 18-year-old native of West Kelowna in his top six, as well as on one of his two power-play units.
Saretsky tallied five goals and 13 points in 19 games with the Steam prior to the trade. Though not set in stone, Bancks said his early plan places Saretsky between veteran wingers Jared Marchi and Jason Richter.
The Rockets and Dynamiters face-off at 7 p.m. at the Kimberley Civic Centre.