The Kimberley Dynamiters had a pair of losses over the weekend, dropping a 4-0 decision to the Golden Rockets, and falling short of a comeback in a 4-3 loss to the Kelowna Chiefs.
The Nitros have locked up third place in the Eddie Mountain Division and have one more regular season game next Sunday before the KIJHL playoffs begin.
Kimberley’s first round opponent is still unclear as the Ghostriders and the Rockets have three games remaining, and though Fernie is in first and ahead by two points, Golden can pull ahead if given a chance.
The Rockets continued to push the ‘Riders for first place on Friday, collecting two points in a 4-0 shutout of the Dynamiters in Golden.
Bobby Kashuba and Connor Beauchemin opened the scoring in the first period, while Shane Rutherford and Keith Wake added two more goals in the middle frame.
The two teams held each other scoreless in the final period.
Matthew Mitchell stood in net for the Dynamiters, turning away 34 shots, while Rockets netminder James Leonard made 17 saves for the shutout.
The Chiefs built up a three-goal lead going into the final period, but the Nitros made a game of it, scoring a trio of markers in the final period, however, a solo effort from Kyle Klerke completed his hat trick and gave Kelowna the edge.
Klerke opened the scoring in the first period and Jordan Salahor added a goal after the first 20 minutes.
Klerke found the back of the net again in the middle frame as his team held the Nitros off the scoreboard.
Connor Kutzner finally lit the goal lamp after the halfway mark of the final period, and Taylor McDowell followed up with another Nitro goal with 4:30 to go.
However, Klerke completed his hat trick to restore a two-goal lead, which prevented the game from going into overtime as Jared Marchi responded soon after with 91 seconds remaining on the clock.