The Kimberley Dynamiters came out with one win and one loss after the first weekend of playoff action against Creston. Though the 3-2 overtime loss on Friday was disappointing, and head coach and general manager Derek Stuart would rather his team not learn any lessons during playoffs, he said the loss was probably a good thing.
“You never want to learn a lesson in playoffs with a loss,” Stuart said, “but I think that loss on Friday was probably a good thing looking back, because it woke us up.”
Stuart acknowledged nerves may have been a factor, for both his team and Creston, at the beginning of the game at least, but attributes Friday’s defeat to his squad putting it in “cruise control” after scoring their second goal
“I think after we scored out second goal to make it two nothing we put it in cruise control and thus the game became an even playing field,” Stuart said. “I thought we controlled the game and had it in hand until that second goal and unfortunately the guys thought the rest of the night was going to be easy.”
The Dynamiters thoroughly out shot the Thunder Cats in the first period and were dominating in the second, but after they put in that second goal, Stuart feels that they fell into a bad habit they’ve had here and there throughout the regular season where they go on autopilot and let the games become closer than they need to be, this time ultimately resulting the Nitros getting “bit on the butt.”
After Friday’s eye-opening defeat, the Nitros rallied on Saturday and gave an exceptional performance, resulting in a big 4-0 win.
“I think Saturday’s game was our most complete team effort we’ve had in a couple months probably. It wasn’t really any different than the first period Friday, or the start of the second Friday, we just did it consistently throughout the entire game and didn’t take any breaks, or realize nothing was going to be easy.”
They are in Creston on Monday, March 2 and Tuesday, March 3 and then back in Kimberley for three straight games on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
“They’re excited to go tonight,” Stuart said ahead of Monday’s away game. “I think Saturday was a big confidence boost in terms of being consistent. We showed that if we’re playing on our game it’s pretty tough to compete with us right now so I think that if the guys just carry on where we left off from Saturday, we’ll be in real good shape tonight.”