The feeling of victory didn’t last long for the Dynamiters.
The Nitros skated away with a 4-1 victory at home over their divisional rivals in the Fernie Ghostriders on Saturday, but dropped a contest in Castlegar to the Rebels by the same score on Sunday.
Kimberley scored once in the second period and twice in the third to overcome the Riders, while the Rebels broke a tie in the third period and scored three unanswered goals.
Nitro tender Jeremy Mousseau stood in net for both games, earning the win and the loss, stopping 26 shots against the Ghosties and 37 shots against the Rebels.
The best rivalry in the KIJHL kicked off at the Civic Centre on Saturday night, and a player from both teams ended up in the penalty box before the puck even dropped, as they crossed the red line during the warm up.
The ‘Riders struck first when Derek Georgopolous snapped a shot past Mousseau right off a face-off in the Dynamiters’ zone 10 minutes into the contest.
With six minutes remaining in the opening frame, some great work in the offensive zone from Dallin Wolf, Aaron Shubert and Brett Luker translated into a goal, when Wolf took a feed from Luker and snapped a shot into the net.
“A big shift is always important, especially late in the second period, if you get the momentum behind you, you’re going to be good for the rest of the game to keep it going,” said Nitro forward Jared Marchi.
Kimberley forward Dustin Long looked around in disbelief after a tap-in opportunity right off the crease somehow ended up underneath the Fernie goaltender before the period ended.
Mousseau got some help from the iron in the second period, as the Riders nailed the post off an early rush.
However, Corson Johnstone grabbed the lead for the Dynamiters just after the halfway mark of the second period, tapping in a pass from Jared Marchi.
The tempo of the game went up a notch in the second as the Nitros did a better job of gaining the offensive zone and pressruing the ‘Rider defence and goaltender.
That tempo may have contributed to the ejection of Rider player Anthony Gardner, who argued with the officials after a scrum in the Fernie zone.
Taylor McDowell scored the most exciting goal of the night, bobbling a breakaway feed in the neutral zone, but recovering the puck in time to lift a shot over the shoulder of the ‘Rider goaltender while killing a penalty.
That seemed to break the Ghostriders’ back, but Long added the final nail to the coffin, taking advantage of a turnover in the Fernie zone and burying the puck into the back of the net.
It may have been the same score on Sunday, but not the result the Nitros wanted, as the Rebels won 4-1 in Castlegar.
Castlegar drew first blood on a power play goal with eight minutes remaining in the second period.
Nitro forward Aaron Shubert scored his first career goal to even up the contest late in the second period.
The floodgates opened in the final period, as the Rebels scored two power play goals and an even-strength marker break the tie and seal up the win.