Nolan Kurylo celebrates a goal with his Kimberley Dynamiters teammates.

Nolan Kurylo celebrates a goal with his Kimberley Dynamiters teammates.

Nitros clash with ‘Riders in Christmas Classic

Kimberley Dynamiters host first of home-and-home series with Fernie tonight at Civic Centre.

Brad McLeod

The weather outside may be way below freezing, but tonight at the Kimberley Civic Centre, the hockey is going to be red hot.

The Dynamiters are hosting the first of the annual holiday home-and-home games against the Fernie Ghostriders, and with both teams coming off a week of hockey deprivation, it should be an exciting night for the hometown crowd.

Despite already having clinched a KIJHL playoff berth with 46 points — good enough for second in the Eddie Mountain division and only two points behind the Creston Valley Thunder Cats for first — the Dynamiters have a losing record against the Nitros so far this season.

Fernie has a 3-1 record over Kimberley through their first four of eight meetings and handed the Nitros their only home loss all year when they beat them 2-1 in their season opener.

The Nitros, however, have pre-Christmas momentum on their side. They’re riding a six-game winning streak with decisive victories over Columbia Valley and Nelson still like fresh in their mind from the last time they played on December 16 and 17.

The Ghostriders, on the other hand, lost their final game before the break as they were thumped 7-4 by the powerhouse Thunder Cats. Fernie has otherwise been very competitive in the month of December with three regulation wins, an overtime win, a tie, and a loss.

Goal-scoring should be aplenty as the two divisional rivals face-off in two straight games. The Nitros and ‘Riders are second and fifth, respectively, in total goals scored with 137 and 125 tallies so far this year.

Michael Titus leads the Fernie squad in points with 37 in 30 games, while Chase Miller is the Nitros new scoring leader with 33 points in 30 games, following the departure of Korbyn Chabot to the BCHL Trail Smoke Eaters earlier this month.

Newly acquired forward Nolan Kurylo should be a player to watch for the Dynamiters — he has 12 points in only 12 games with the team — and ‘Riders defenceman Alex Cheveldave can create chances from the backend and will look to add to his 27 points from the first 30 games of the season.

In net, the Dynamiters have two reliable Codys. Cody Campbell has been impressive this year with 8 wins, 2 shutouts and a .915 save percentage through 11 games. Cody Call was brilliant in his debut against the Columbia Valley Rockets on December 16, stopping 32 shots in a 6-3 win, and should get even better as he adjusts to his new team.

The ‘Riders starting goaltender Brandon Butler is listed as injured heading into the back-to-back games — he made 37 saves in the team’s last victory over the Nitros — but backup Brandon Youngson is a solid potential replacement with 4 wins in 11 games.

Puck drop at the Civic Centre will take place at 7 p.m. tonight and 7:30 p.m in Fernie on Thursday.

MATCH STICKS: Due to a double booking in Kimberley at the Civic Centre, the Dynamiters will be playing their home game against Beaver Valley on January 6 in Cranbrook at the Memorial Arena.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Original ads in the Cranbrook Courier for the opening of Juniper Lanes in 1962 — the hottest new recreation facility in the East Kootenay. Sixty years later, the reborn Juniper Lanes will be part of a great downtown Cranbrook renaissance. Thanks to David Humphrey/Cranbrook History Centre and Archives
The Roaring Twenties, and the great downtown Cranbrook renaissance

The recent wave of local risk-taking youthful entrepreneurship will transform Cranbrook’s downtown

College of the Rockies Cranbrook campus. Photo courtesy College of the Rockies.
Province delivers student emergency assistance funding to COTR

The College of the Rockies is receiving funding from the provincial government… Continue reading

B.C's COVID-19 dashboard shows the peaks and valleys of cases prior to the record daily report of 132 on April 9, 2021. (Dashboard image)
Interior Health has record day of COVID-19 cases

132 cases reported Friday, April 9, more deaths in Vernon hospital outbreak

Tri-Kon will be delivering concrete barriers on Friday afternoon for a patio space that will be shared between Soulfood Farm to Table and Sakura.Trevor Crawley photo.
Outdoor patios in the works for downtown core

Efforts already underway to set up outdoor patios on Baker St. from four local business

The BC Wildfire Service will be conducting an ecosystem restoration burn near the old Kimberley airport next week. BC Wildfire Service file.
Ecosystem restoration burn planned for old Kimberley airport area next week

Burn could begin as early as Monday, April 12, 2021

The new 6,300 square foot Cranbrook Food Bank facility is located at 1624 Industrial Rd 2 and is open to the public Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (Corey Bullock/Cranbrook Townsman file)
New Cranbrook Food Bank officially open to the public

The new facility is located at 1624 Industrial Rd. 2 and open Monday, Wednesday, Friday

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read