A difficult month continues for the Kimberley Dynamiters, as they face their longest set of back-to-back games of the season.
The first of the bunch was last night in Fernie against the Ghostriders, where the Nitros lost 5-3.
Tonight, they play again in Invermere against the Columbia Valley Rockies before finishing their three-game stand at home on Saturday against the Creston Valley Thunder Cats.
Although it’s a good test, part one didn’t go too well. Despite overcoming a 3-1 deficit, and tying the game against the ‘Riders 3-3 late in the second period, Fernie scored late in that frame and added an empty-netter in the third to seal a victory.
Tonight’s opponent, Columbia Valley (11-25-0-3), have turned heads recently with impressive wins and are 5-5 in their last ten games. They enter the weekend on a two-game losing streak, however.
They have an 11 point lead over the Golden Rockets for the last playoff spot in the conference and are 20 points behind the Fernie Ghostriders.
This will be the eighth and final meeting between the Rockies and Nitros. Kimberley leads the series 6-1, outscoring the Rockies 38-14 in that time span.
However, the only time the Rockies beat the Dynamiters was on home ice back on October 8, 2016, their first meeting of the year. Columbia Valley will no doubt attempt to bookend the season series tonight.
On Saturday, the Nitros face another battle for first in the Eddie Mountain Division against the Creston Valley Thunder Cats (29-8-1-1).
The Cats currently hold a five-point lead over the Dynamiters, which they have built by winning their past two meetings.
The game will be the eighth and final meeting of the regular season between the two teams. The Cats lead the series 4-3 and have outscored the Nitros 34-25. This will be the Dynamiters best chance to close the gap in the standings if they want to secure home ice for the first two rounds of the playoffs.
Tonight’s game starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena in Invermere. Saturday’s game is at 7:00 p.m. at the Kimberley Civic Centre.
MATCH STICKS: On January 22, the KIJHL held a special meeting to deal with the expansion requests that Quesnel and Williams Lake submitted to join the league.
Both communities have supported Junior A hockey teams in the past and in the 2015-16 season a regular season game was played in Williams Lake and was well supported.
In a secret ballot, 75 percent of the membership rejected expansion. “Bottom line… 75% did not want to expand,” said KIJHL President Bill Ohlhausen who suggested the league would “certainly” consider expansion in the future. “I think when the membership is in a position to accept it, [they will]. I don’t know all their reasons, but they were not prepared at this time to expand.”
For up-to-date Kimberley Dynamiter information visit: www.kimberleydynamiters.net/blog and follow Josh on twitter @joshuaklockhart.