The Kimberley Dynamiters are set to visit the Fernie Memorial Arena and the Eddie Mountain Division-leading Ghostriders one final time in regular-season action Friday night.
The last time these two teams met in Fernie it amounted to a wild affair, as the Ghostriders came out with a 2-1 victory Dec. 29 over their Eddie Mountain Division rivals from Kimberley.
Ghostriders forward Justin Peers scored the eventual game-winning goal in the second period, prompting a rooster to be thrown from the stands and on to the ice. Peers, a native of Calgary, Alta., was the lucky one left to scoop the cock-a-doodle doodler up and off the playing surface at Fernie Memorial Arena.
Following last Friday’s ineligible-player snafu that cost his team two points against the Columbia Valley Rockies, head coach Jerry Bancks and the Nitros will look to return to the win column.
“One thing you want to always try to do is make sure the other team doesn’t outwork you in preparation,” Bancks said looking forward to the date with Fernie after last Saturday’s 7-3 win over the Rockies. “That’s not going to happen. We’re going to prepare hard this week.”
The Dynamiters will need to work hard if they’re to come out with a victory Friday night as they head to Fernie still crippled by injuries.
Forward Jared Marchi (lower body, indefinite) was stretchered off the ice the last time these two teams met in Fernie and remains unavailable. In addition, forwards Marco Campanella (lower body), Sawyer Hunt (upper body) and Jordan Roy (upper body) are also on the shelf. The Nitros blue line is banged up as well, with Jonas Gordon (upper body) and Tristan Pagura (upper body) still nursing injuries.
“We’ve got to do the little things right,” said forward Braden Saretsky, who has been hot of late with five goals and eight points in his past five games. “I don’t think Fernie’s that much better of a team than us. If we come out strong, we should be fine.”
With Gordon out of the lineup, rookie Rory Mallard has stepped up admirably. The 18-year-old stay-at-home defencemen made his way to the scoresheet last weekend with a pair of goals and an assist against the Rockies.
“We’re going to have to battle hard,” Mallard said looking forward to Friday’s game with the Ghostriders. “We’ve got to dig deep down, do what we’ve got to do and go out there strong.”
The Ghostriders (28-6-1-2, 59 points) hold a 16-point cushion on the Eddie Mountain Division’s second-place Golden Rockets (19-15-0-5, 43), while the Dynamiters (19-15-1-3, 42) sit in third place.
Puck drop in Fernie is slated for 7:30 p.m.