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Dynamiters even Kootenay Conference Final with Nelson Leafs

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
March 21st, 2018

The Kootenay Conference Final is now a best-of-three affair.

Kimberley Dynamiters scored three power play goals en route to a 5-2 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League Playoff victory over the Nelson Leafs Tuesday before a pack house at the NDCC Arena.

The best-of-seven Conference Final, tied at 2-2, now shifts to the Bavarian City Thursday for Game five.

Game six is back in Nelson Friday at 7 p.m. If necessary, Game seven is scheduled for Sunday afternoon in Kimberley with a 4 p.m. puck drop.

“I thought we were good last (Monday) night but tonight we were better,” said Kimberley coach Derek Stewart after Kimberley gained a split in Nelson — the Leafs won Monday night's Game three 4-3.

“We executed better tonight and finished some opportunities where last night their goalie (Josh Williams) made some really big saves,” Stewart added. “But, tonight we were able to get some shots past him.”

Nelson got the house rocking when Jaiden LaPorte, with goals in the last three games, opened the scoring.

However, James Farmer scored on Leafs goalie Josh Williams before Cooper Page connected on the power play to give the visitors a 2-1 lead at intermission. The goal by Page was tough on the Leafs as it came with 94 seconds remaining in the period.

Kimberley added to its lead five minutes into the second, again on the power play. Leaf defenceman Dash Thompson was called for a five-minute checking-from-behind penalty on Kimberley forward Matt Davies giving the visitors the extended man advantage.

Mason Palaga, with his first of two on the night, increased the Kimberley lead to 4-1 before Ryan Cooper stopped the bleeding with a marker in the final two minutes of the period.

Palaga led all scorers with four points.

In the third, Nelson pressed the Dynamiters but could not beat Kimberley goalie Cody Campbell, who faced 26 shots to register the win.

Williams, who left the game with an injury in the second period, and Caiden Kreitz combined to backstop the Leafs.

“We definitely need to take advantage of our home ice (Thursday) but this win definitely doesn’t push us over the top,” Stuart said. “(Nelson) is a very good hockey club . . . sure it’s a best-of-three series now and we start out with Game one Thursday.”

In the Okanagan Shuswap Conference, Revelstoke Grizzlies regained home-ice advantage by stopping the Coyotes 4-2 in Osoyoos.

GAMES NOTES: The game attracted 783 fans. . . . No word on the extent of the injury to Leafs goalie Josh Williams, who earned the KIJHL's "Who's Hot In The KI" after facing 40 shots in Monday's Game three win . . . . Nelson is expected to have forwards Sawyer Hunt and Jackson Zimmermann back in the lineup for Thursday’s Game five. . . . David Sanchez was back in the lineup for Nelson after missing the first three games of the series. . . . Mason Palaga was Kimberley’s Game Star while Jaiden LaPorte earned the honour for Nelson.

Categories: Sports