The Kimberley Dynamiters (15-5-0-0) returned to the win column on Tuesday, after a short three-game losing streak, with a dominating 8-0 victory over the Golden Rockets (4-17-0-0).
Rockets starting goalie Ruslan Katsnelson returned to the Civic Centre for the first time since being traded to Golden in October.
Unfortunately for Katsnelson and the Rockets, the Dynamiters fuse was lit and ready to explode.
“We were all pumped and ready to go,” said Dynamites forward Korbyn Chabot. “It’s been a while since we have been at home . . . playing at home is always a great pleasure [and] the home barn gives you more motivation.”
Chabot and the Nitros found a lot of motivation and erupted for six goals in the first 12 minutes of the game, out-shooting the Rockets 24-4 in the first 20 minutes.
Head coach and general manager Derek Stuart was thrilled with the first period performance.
“I thought the first period was outstanding, our guys were hot [and] execution-wise, it was probably our best period of the year. I think a lot of teams would have a lot of trouble with how we played in the first.”
The difficult task, though, was keeping the players focused for the next 40 minutes with such a massive lead.
“That’s the harder part,” Stuart said. “Especially in this age group, it is very hard. It’s even hard for the coaches to stay focused.
“We talked about [staying focused] during the first intermission. It clearly did not work, because in the second period [Golden] took the play to us.
“It’s very, very hard knowing that you are up that many goals with 40 minutes left to play. We let them know that we were not very pleased with that second period. I thought the third period was a lot better.”
The Dynamiters added a goal in both the second and third period, rounding out the game to a commanding 8-0 victory.
Mitch Traichevich earned his second shutout of the season with 17 saves while Chabot and captain Ryan Hozjan each had 5 points on the night — a goal and four assists.
“Everything I gave to Chabot ended up in the back of the net,” Hozjan said. “It made it pretty easy on me [and] it was good to get some points after a drought. It’s a relief, but it’s only one game.”
Chabot, who scored four goals and added an assist, was just excited to be back on the ice after missing time with an injury.
“It’s obviously good to have a big point night,” he said. “I couldn’t have done it without a few linemates — Hozjan and Davies — they had an incredible game. It’s just good to be back and in the jersey.”
Stuart felt that the outcome had little to do with Golden’s record and more to do with his team’s performance.
“They got results tonight for doing the things we asked them to. I don’t think it was so much that we were playing the last team in our division.”
“I think we got away from our style of play — being hard to play against,” Hozjan added. “Tonight, it was nice to get back to playing our style.
“We came out real strong. Our hard work paid off. It was good to get the confidence back.”
The Dynamiters October Player of the Month, Chase Miller, was excited to end the short losing streak.
“It’s huge for us. We are not used to losing. I think we got caught up in winning, we had a huge winning streak. It’s good to get back on the winning side.”
The Dynamiters now shift their focus to facing the Creston Valley Thunder Cats (15-3-1-1) for the third time this month on Friday in Creston before returning home on Friday to play the Grand Forks Border Bruins (9-7-2-2).
Chabot says the team is looking forward to Friday’s matchup, and that it is simple to find the motivation.
“They are our big rivals, so that gets us going.”
Hozjan wants his team to repeat Tuesday’s performance when they play again this weekend.
“We have to get back to the way we were playing in the first 20 minutes of tonight’s game. I think any team we would have played against would have had a tough time keeping up with us. If we carry that into Friday’s game and play a full 60 that way, we’ll be in good shape.”
Puck drops at 7:30 p.m. in Creston at the Johnny Bucyk Arena on Friday, and then 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Civic Centre.
MATCH STICKS: Defenceman Robert Thomson has decided to retire from hockey to focus on school. Troy Feldbusch was traded to Dawson Creek (NWJHL). With four goals, seven assists, and three stars of the game, Chase Miller was named the Dynamiters October player of the Month.
For up-to-date Kimberley Dynamiter information visit: www.kimberleydynamiters.net/blog. Also follow Josh on twitter @joshuaklockhart.