Sparks will fly Sunday night when the Kimberley Dynamiters visit the Fernie Ghostriders for Game 1 of the Eddie Mountain Division final.
Friday afternoon, the KIJHL released the schedule for the Dynamiters and Ghostriders second-round playoff series, with Game 1 slated for 7:30 p.m. at the Fernie Memorial Arena.
The Ghostriders set the table for a best-of-seven, second-round date by cruising past the Golden Rockets with a 4-2 victory in Game 5, taking their first-round series 4-1 Wednesday night.
“We’re feeling good…We’re pretty healthy and we’re excited for Kimberley, it’s going to be a fun series,” Ghostriders captain Dylan Robertson told Sara Moulton of the Fernie Free Press Wednesday night. “We’ll be practicing hard, so when we do get back on the ice we’ll stay focused. Our big thing now is to compete in practice; be 100 per cent there mentally and to be ready when we play.”
The Nitros did their part to R.S.V.P. to the party invite by edging the Creston Valley Thunder Cats 2-1 in Game 5 of their best-of-seven first-round series Thursday night, claiming a 4-1 series triumph.
“Blood runs deep,” said Dynamiters goaltender Tyson Brouwer Thursday night. “It’s going to be another war out there. I know we’ll be ready for them.”
Though the second-round series won’t see any friendly pleasantries exchanged on the ice, it will provide fans in Fernie and Kimberley with an all-you-can-eat buffet of fiery, playoff rivalry hockey.
“It’s so great for the community, that’s the biggest thing,” said Dynamiters head coach Jerry Bancks of facing the Ghostriders. “There’s a lot of people here that you talk to before games, some of the seniors that have been coming here for years and years and year — you really want to get that series [Kimberley vs. Fernie] for them. Hopefully we can come out ahead.”
The Ghostriders claimed the eight-game season series between the two rivals, going 4-3-1, but the Dynamiters enter the Eddie Mountain Division final having won the previous two meetings with the Ghostriders.
The Nitros claimed a 5-3 victory at the Fernie Memorial Arena Jan. 9 and followed it up Feb. 6 with a 3-1 triumph at the Kimberley Civic Centre.
“They’ve got a lot of older players. Their leading scorers are all fairly mature and older guys. You can’t give them chances,” Bancks said. “That was a disciplined effort by [the Thunder Cats]. They played their systems. I’m thinking it might be a little bit more wide open [against Fernie], but not on our part.”
After Games 1 and 2 in Fernie, the series shifts to the Kimberley Civic Centre for Game 3 on Wednesday, March 4.
Eddie Mountain Division FinalKimberley Dynamiters (2) vs. Fernie Ghostriders (1):
Game 1 – Sunday, March 1 at 7:30 p.m. (Fernie Memorial Arena)Game 2 – Monday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m. (Fernie Memorial Arena)Game 3 – Wednesday, March 4 at 7 p.m. (Kimberley Civic Centre)Game 4 – Friday, March 6 at 7 p.m. (Kimberley Civic Centre)*Game 5 – Sunday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m. (Fernie Memorial Arena)*Game 6 – Monday, March 9 at 7 p.m. (Kimberley Civic Centre)*Game 7 – Tuesday, March 10 at 7:30 p.m. (Fernie Memorial Arena)
* = if necessary