The Kimberley Dynamiters might have gotten away with one Wednesday night as they claimed a 4-3 double-overtime victory over the Fernie Ghostriders in Game 2 of the Eddie Mountain Division semifinal.
Dynamiters head coach Jerry Bancks is hoping that was enough of a lesson for his group to buckle down as they aim to take a commanding series lead Friday night (7 p.m.) in Game 3 at the Kimberley Civic Centre.
“Show a little more respect for your opponent and show up prepared to play,” Bancks said of the lesson he hopes his soldiers took away from Wednesday’s nail biter.
“We’ve just got to play our game and get back on the forecheck. I don’t think our forecheck [in Game 2] was as good as it was the other night [in Game 1]. There was a lot of hesitancy in finishing checks.”
Tuesday’s Game 1 was a blowout 6-0 victory for the Dynamiters and Bancks felt his club didn’t show enough respect to the Ghostriders come Game 2, and it showed as Fernie took the play to the visitors early on.
As the series shifts back to the Kimberley Civic Centre for an all-important Game 3 in which the Dynamiters can take a controlling 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven first-round war, Bancks is looking forward to a friendly home crowd to boost his squad.
“Let it flow, it’s got to be fun,” Bancks said. “Our crowd does a great job of getting us ready. I’m hoping that makes a big difference [in Game 3].”
If you’re looking at this series from the side of the Ghostriders, a potential difference-maker was slapped down Thursday afternoon as Kimberley defenceman Jordan Busch was handed a two-game suspension after incurring a major penalty for checking to the head in Game 2.
Busch, the Eddie Mountain Division Defenceman of the Year, has been a rock-solid, two-way force and massive minute muncher for coach Bancks all season long. His absence could leave a hole to be exploited in the hosts’ back end.
In Busch’s absence, rookie George Bertoia, will undoubtedly be expected to step up, as will veterans Justin Meier, Trey Doell and Devon Langelaar.
Rookie Lucas Purdy has been a healthy scratch to this point in the series and remains available. Steady rearguard Tyler Van Steinburg (upper body) has been unavailable to this point and there is yet to be clarity as to when he might return.
Trevor Van Steinburg, typically a forward, has been suiting up as a defencemen in stead of his younger brother.
Bertoia provided some much-needed secondary scoring in Game 2, tallying a power-play goal and adding an assist.
“It’s outstanding,” Bancks said.
“I thought some of our veterans didn’t come ready to play [in Game 2], so it’s great we got goals from the people we got them from.”
Puck drop on Game 3 is slated for 7 p.m. Friday night at the Kimberley Civic Centre.
“I hope to see over 1,000 people in the building Friday night,” Bancks said. “It’s important for our guys… We need the fans.”
Game 4 is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday evening at the Fernie Memorial Arena, and if necessary, Game 5 brings the series back to the Kimberley Civic Centre (Monday, 7 p.m.).