Exciting post-season action kicked off last Tuesday, with 16 clubs heading into the playoffs, all striving for the divisional, conference and league titles, and the honour of representing the KIJHL at the Cyclone Taylor BC championship. A quick summary of our opening contests…………..
Tuesday, February 22nd, 2022 Dynamiters 3 Rockets 2
Opening game of the series between the Rockets and Kimberley got underway on February 22nd in the southern centre, and proved to be a ‘nail-biter’ . Backed by the superb netminding of Levi Hall, Golden was in this game all the way, in a contest which needed the full sixty minutes to decide a winner.
The Rockets opened up a quick 2-0 lead early in the first period, on the strength of a shorthanded tally by Kade Cochlan, followed three minutes later with a Jordan Lario marker. The Dynamiter’s Christian Mealey cut the deficit in half at 2-1, as he slid the puck across the goal line at 14:26.
No scoring in the middle stanza as both clubs came up with several fine opportunities, but couldn’t find the mark.
The Nitros deadlocked the game at 2-2 with a Cash Regan goal at 6:33 of the third period. It looked as if the contest would be headed to overtime late in the frame, before Kimberley found the winner at 19:09 off the stick of Austin Daniels, bringing the 500+ Nitro fans to their feet.
Rockets pulled their goaltender in the final seconds, but couldn’t find the equalizer. Kimberley outshot the Rockets 35-20.
Wednesday, February 23rd, 2022 Dynamiters 9 Rockets 2
Both teams were back in action less than 24 hours later before another 500+ Nitro faithful.
Game Two started out very similar to the opening contest, as both clubs battled closely through the first half of regulation time. At that point, Kimberley transformed into an offensive powerhouse that the Rockets couldn’t contain.
The teams were tied 1-1 after twenty minutes. Speedster Gavin Kennedy got Golden on the board first, at 6:49, with a power play goal. That was countered by Matt Seretsky’s tally ten minutes later.
In the second period, the squads once again swapped goals. Gavin Kennedy briefly put the Rockets into the lead with his second goal of the game, but once again the Dynamiters tied things up at 2-2 at the midway mark, as Kade Leskosky hit for his first of the game.
From this point onward, the Nitro exploded.
Before the middle frame ended, the Kimberley lead had expanded to 5-2.
In the final period, they came out flying on offence, striking for no less than four unanswered tallies (two within 16 seconds), enroute to an eventual 9-2 win. Big guns for the Nitro’s were Kade Leskosky with a hat-trick, Austin Daniels with a four-point night, and Cam Reid with a trio of assists.
Action shifts to the Plywood Palace this Friday and Saturday evenings, when the Rockets will be looking to get back into the series.