At the start of the 2017-18 season the Kimberley Dynamiters as a team made a first-half goal to be first in their division by the end of the calendar year.
As of December 31, 2017, the Dynamiters have a 25-5-1-1 record and sit first in their division, conference and tied for first in the league with two games in hand. Their win percentage, .8125, is second best win percentage amongst Junior B teams in the province.
“It feels good.” Head coach and general manager Derek Stuart said. “It’s something that can benefit you the further you go into the playoffs. Other than that, it is more a feather in the cap.”
Looking back at the first half, Stuart named two areas for the teams success: veterans and rookies.
“We have a lot of veterans. Their leadership has been outstanding. They are doing a very good job of not caring too much who gets credit and who the go-to guys are.”
“Our rookies are very impressive, especially the three that are contributing offensively: Palmer, Gedny and Russell. They are chipping in and contributing more than anticipated.”
But despite the veteran leadership and great play of the rookies, there is one area Stuart wants to improve on, and that’s in the defensive zone.
“There are times where we need more attention to detail, we need to take care of our own house before thinking and transitioning to offence.”
Stuart then added one more piece that he wished the team could improve on, and that was discipline. He feels at times the teams emotions get the better of them.
When reflecting on the season, there was a moment when the team shifted in their group formation to performing well. That was after the storm of a game when the Nitro’s lost 8-1 in a penalty filled home game to the Creston Valley Thunder Cats.
“That loss to Creston, we haven’t lost since. We really came together as a team on the ice.
“We saw that if we were not at our best there are teams in our division and conference that could lay it to us, but at the same time.
“When we had a team meeting the next day, told the players this could be a good thing. Every team needs to experience something like that. The way responded afterwards, that would be our turning point.”
Stuart was quick to add, that despite the teams success by the break, that the season is not finished.
“We are trying to stress that this is just the first half of the season, there are no trophies to be handed out.
“It’s a great to start to the season. The real season started two games ago, after the break. We are off to a good start so far.”
The Kimberley Dynamiters won their first two games after coming back from break against the Fernie Ghostriders. They now head on the road for this weekends games.