The KIJHL playoffs have begun with Thursday evening’s matchup between the Dynamiters and the Rockets, but the latter came through with a 4-2 win on home ice in Golden.
Bobby Kashuba led the Rockets to victory, scoring a third period goal and adding two assists, while goaltender James Leonard got the win with 23 saves.
Connor Beauchemin, Keith Wake and Josh Jewell also added goals for Golden, while Taylor McDowell and Brandon Bogdanek responded for the Nitros.
Jeremy Mousseau took the loss in net for Kimberley, stopping 27 shots.
The two teams held each other scoreless in the first period, however, Beauchemin put the Rockets ahead late in the middle frame.
Five minutes later, Wake doubled the lead on a powerplay.
Kashuba scored less than a minute into the third period to give the Rockets a solid 3-0 lead, but the Nitros refused to quit.
McDowell scored his goal at the halfway mark, and Bogdanek added his on a man-advantage with less than two minutes to go in the game.
However, Jewell scored a buzzer beating empty net goal to make it a 4-2 final score.
The Nitros capitalized once in five opportunities on the man-advantage, while the Rockets converted once in four chances.
The series continues on Friday night in Golden for Game Two, before things head south to Kimberley, where the Nitros will open their playoff schedule on home ice for Game Three on Saturday and Game Four on Monday.