The Kimberley Dynamiters have proved over the last four games that they’re not afraid to go the extra mile—or period, for that matter.
The Nitros won a tense 5-4 double overtime decision over the visiting Creston Valley Thunder Cats on Tuesday night at the Civic Centre, winning their fourth consecutive matchup in the extra frame.
Sam Nigg was the overtime hero, beating T-Cats net minder Zach Straza with a slap shot while streaking down the sideboards while entering the offensive zone with 1:12 to go in the double-OT period.
“I went down 20 seconds earlier and just missed, so I figured I’d give it the same shot and it worked out for me,” said Nigg.
After all, the team has had lots of practice going into overtime.
“It’s getting a little tiring, but it’s fun,” added Nigg. “Winning in overtime is the best feeling there is.”
The Nitros enjoyed a brief lead after the first period, but the two teams ended the middle frame tied at 3-3. The two teams traded goals in the final period, which sent the game into extra time.
Matthew Mitchell backstopped his team to the win, making 39 saves, while Straza turned away 32 shots for Creston.
Creston scored on two of their six powerplay opportunities, while shutting down the Nitros in all five of their chances.
The Dynamiters took the lead late in the second period, when Tyson Klingspohn got a lucky deflection off a skate during a scramble in front of Straza.
Creston tied up the game in the second period, scoring their first powerplay goal when Andrew Hodder put a slap shot from the blue line past Mitchell.
Trevor Hanna put the T-Cats in the lead 24 seconds later, taking a breakaway feed from Jesse Collins and beating Mitchell through the five-hole.
Kimberley responded with a breakaway of their own, as Taylor McDowell slid the puck between the legs of Straza. Dylan Sibbald gave his team a two-goal lead, drifting into the slot and ripping a feed from Nigg.
However, Angus Johnston tied up the game a minute later on the powerplay, finishing outside the crease on a give-and-go play with Connor Kidd.
The Thunder Cats pulled ahead in the final period on a goal from Marcel Fuchs, but Eric Buckley responded 10 minutes later, walking out of the corner and roofing the puck on the far side of the net.
The Nitros owned most of the play in the first overtime frame, and Nigg nearly finished it when he nailed the post. However, Creston looked dangerous on the powerplay when Isaac Schacher took a hooking penalty, but Mitchell and the penalty killers kept the puck out of their net.
Kimberley has now locked up at least third place in the Eddie Mountain Division, with four games to go until the KIJHL playoffs.
The T-Cats and the Rockies are duking it out for the final divisional playoff spot, but either team don’t have the enough games left to catch the Nitros. Conversely, they Dynamiters have a small chance of catching up to the Golden Rockets, but that would require a few losses on Golden’s part.