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Nitros beat Creston to take series lead
The Nitros turned up the heat on Monday night and beat the Creston Valley Thunder Cats 4-1 to take a 2-1 series lead in the second round of the KIJHL playoffs.
Jason Richter, Jared Marchi, Tyler Garcia and Jordan Busch supplied the goals for Kimberley, while Tyler Podgorenko answered back for the T-Cats.
Dynamiters goaltender Tyson Brouwer picked up the win with 33 saves while Kyle Michalovsky turned away 22 shots for Creston.
Kimberley won the special teams battle, scoring once in three powerplay chances, while shutting out the Thunder Cats with six penalty kills.
"Our team prides ourselves on our work ethic and I think that's one of the main reasons why we were able to shut them down," said Nitro forward Dylan Sibbald. "We worked hard all year in practice and did lots of bag skates, so we have to attribute that to our success, as well."
Richter got it started less than three minutes into the game on the powerplay for a quick lead, while Marchi doubled it up by banking a shot off Michalovsky from behind the net.
Kimberley had the majority of puck possession and offensive chances in the first period, and carried their play into the second period, with Garcia sniping a sharp angle shot eight minutes into the frame for a 3-0 lead.
However, the momentum seemed to shift a bit after that, as the Thunder Cats woke up to the reality of their deficit. Despite pushing hard in the Nitros zone, the Kimberley team, with some stellar work from Brouwer, were able to hold Creston at bay.
However, the Thunder Cats were able to keep up the pressure in the early stages of the third period, and Podgorenko was rewarded with a goal to get Creston on the board.
The latter half of the final period made for some tense hockey as the Nitros began a parade to the penalty box.
Garcia was hit with a boarding minor and 10-minute misconduct, while Tanner Gray and Bryce Perpelitz were also sent to the sin bin.
However, the Dynamiters were able to pull out all the stops on the penalty kill and hold off the Creston attack.
With a powerplay in hand, the T-Cats pulled Michalovsky for six attackers against four Kimberley defenders, and Busch found the back of the net on a clearing attempt.
Before the game, the Thunder Cats were dealt a big blow with the suspension of forward Brandon Formosa, who will miss five games after getting slapped with a checking from behind major penalty and a game misconduct during in Game Two in Creston. The league also cited accumulated fighting majors when announcing the decision on the KIJHL website.