With a 3-1 win over the Creston Valley Thunder Cats Tuesday night, the Kimberley Dynamiters return home with a commanding 3-1 series lead in their best-of-seven Eddie Mountain Division semifinal.
“It was a very similar game to all the other ones,” said Dynamiters head coach Jerry Bancks over the phone from the team bus after the game. “Tyson [Brouwer] played phenomenal. Special teams — we scored on the power play, they didn’t. That was basically the difference. Five-on-five it was pretty tight.
“They play a really defensive system and don’t gamble alot or give you a lot of room. We try to do the same thing, so it’s a very tight game.”
The stark difference Tuesday night in Game 4 was the man between the pipes for the Thunder Cats.
Brock Lefebvre had been stellar for his squad to this point in the series, but was forced out of action due to suspected injury ahead of Game 4. Mitch Martell took over the crease and put forth an equally strong performance.
“His last few games were pretty impressive. We know he is a great goaltender as well,” Bancks said. “It didn’t change a whole lot.
“He can play and it was another good goaltenders battle tonight.”
Martell turned aside 23 of 25 shots against, while Brouwer stopped 22 of 23.
The two teams exchanged first period goals, with Nitros forward Coy Prevost tallying on the power play and Connor Ward responding midway through the period for the Thunder Cats.
Once again, the power play got it down for the Dynamiters as Eric Buckley cashed in for a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes.
Nitros forward Braden Saretsky rounded out the scoring with an empty-net goal one second before time expired.
The Dynamiters and Thunder Cats return to the Kimberley Civic Centre for Game 5, Thursday night at 7 p.m.
Should the Dynamiters grab a Game-5 win, that would wrap up the series and push the Nitros on to the Eddie Mountain Division final against the winner between the Fernie Ghostriders and Golden Rockets.
“We’ve got to keep sticking with what we’re doing,” Bancks said.
“A good solid effort. Guys blocking shots and playing hard for each other — we’ve got to keep that going.”
The Ghostriders lead the Rockets 3-1 in their best-of-seven Eddie Mountain Division semifinal. Game 5 in that series goes at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday night from the Fernie Memorial Arena.
Notes: Kimberley Dynamiters forward Jordan Roy (upper body, week to week) was knocked out of action Monday night, joining forward Marco Campanella (lower body, week to week) on the injured list…A total of 500 fans turned up for Game 4 at the Johnny Bucyk Arena in Creston on Tuesday…