The Kimberley Dynamiters grabbed three points this weekend in KIJHL action, defeating the Golden Rockets 4-3 on the road before falling to the Creston Valley Thunder Cats 5-4 in overtime at the Kimberley Civic Centre Saturday night.
“What matters most is I thought we were the better team both nights,” said Dynamiters head coach Jerry Bancks Sunday afternoon. “[But] we have to learn how to close out a game a little bit better.”
The three-point weekend, paired with the Golden Rockets 8-4 thumping of the Fernie Ghostriders Saturday, leaves the Dynamiters and Ghostriders knotted at the top of the Eddie Mountain Division standings with identical 9-2-0-1 records.
Perhaps the toughest outcome from the weekend was the loss of centre Jordan Roy who broke his collar bone Friday night in Golden. Roy posted four goals and eight points through 10 games to start the season and is out indefinitely after undergoing surgery Sunday afternoon.
Roy joins defenceman Tristan Pagura on the shelf. Pagura suited up for two games this season before dislocating his shoulder. He is also out indefinitely.
Forward Jared Marchi turned things up offensively, netting three goals and two assists over the weekend. The 19-year-old had a goal and two assists Friday in Golden, including setting the game-winning tally by Jesse Wallace in the second period. Marchi followed up with a two-goal game Saturday at home.
“He was pushing a little bit too hard,” Bancks said of Marchi. “When you do that, yo tend to maybe hang on to the puck a little too long, or wait for the perfect chance. Now he’s back to just shooting the puck.
“You get the first one, you kind of relax and then things start to flow for you.”
Marchi led the Dynamiters in scoring during the 2013-14 campaign, tallying 25 goals and 57 points in 43 games. The Kimberley native has six goals and 11 points in 12 games this season.
Jason Richter also continued his strong play, finding a way to be involved in all four Dynamiters goals Friday in Golden. The 18-year-old Cranbrook native opened the scoring on the power play Friday night, before helping out on the Dynamiters final three goals of the evening against the Rockets. Richter grabbed another assist Saturday at home.
Tyson Klingspohn also continued his consistent play up front, adding a goal and an assist to his record this weekend. The Penticton native helped out on Richter’s game-opening power-play marker Friday in Golden before getting the Dynamiters’ third score of the evening Saturday against Creston Valley.
Klingspohn leads the Nitros in scoring with 10 goals and 17 points through 12 games. With nine goals and 16 points, Richter trails Klingspohn by one point in the race for the team scoring lead.
A last-minute goal from Thunder Cats forward Connor Ward forced overtime Saturday. The 20-year-old native of Rapid City, S.D. knotted things with a short-handed tally with a minute to go in regulation before scoring the game-winning 1:46 into the extra period. The overtime winner was Ward’s third goal of the night.
Tyson Brouwer earned both starts over the weekend, stopping 24 of 27 shots against Golden and 17 of 22 shots against the Creston Valley.
Next weekend, the Dynamiters face a home-and-home series with the Columbia Valley Rockies (1-8-0-3). Friday, Oct. 24, the Nitros travel to Invermere to face the Rockies at 7:30 before returning home to play hosts Saturday at 7 p.m. Kimberley closes out the weekend with a Sunday-afternoon home matinee Oct. 26 when the North Okanagan Knights (2-8-0-2) visit the Civic Centre at 2 p.m.