Monday, March 30, 2015

KABOOM! Exciting times in Kimberley . . . Eller may be in . . . Betker's status unknown

There is nothing more Canadian than hockey, and when it involves a championship team in a small community, well, that is the essence of Canadiana.
The Kimberley Dynamiters — KABOOM! — won the junior B Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s
playoff championship on Sunday night, wrapping it up with a Game 6 victory over the Storm in Kamloops.
Kimberley is a community of about 7,400 people located in the southeast corner of British Columbia.
Monitoring social media as the Dynamiters marched to the championship was nothing short of heart-lifting. Check out the Dynamiters’ Twitter timeline (@nitroshockey) and you will get a feel for just how the entire community went along for the ride and, in the end, was part of the championship.
Taylor Rocca of the Cranbrook Daily Townsman has more right here on Kimberley’s first KIJHL championship in 35 years.
Being on the outside looking in, one can only imagine the excitement in Kimberley over the past few weeks. And it will only get better as the Dynamiters prepare for the Cyclone Taylor Cup, the province’s junior B championship tournament that also will feature the Campbell River Storm, North Vancouver Wolf Pack and the host Mission City Outlaws. It opens Friday and runs through Monday.
Head coach Jerry Bancks, a former Kootenay Ice assistant, and the Dynamiters were honoured at a community rally at the Civic Centre last night.
I have said it before and I’ll say it again — Dynamiters is the niftiest nickname in the hockey world. At least it is in my books.
I don’t know what it is about it that appeals to me, but there is something about it. Maybe it’s because
Lynn Lake's high school hockey team, circa 1967.
(Photo by Vic Laird)
that nickname goes back a long way with me.
I was raised in Lynn Lake, a mining community in northern Manitoba. As a teenager, I played for a high school team that was in a league with two teams from the local mine. One of the teams was the Surface Bombers; the other was the Underground Dynamiters.
Yes, it was a tough league. Yes, I was the furthest thing from a tough cookie.
But perhaps it was from that three-team league in a small town that my affinity for Dynamiters comes.
Anyway . . . you can bet I’ll be paying attention to the Cyclone Taylor Cup over the Easter weekend.
The Cyclone Taylor Cup home page is right here and, yes, it includes a schedule.

F Viktor Gibbs Sjödin (Portland, 2006-08) has signed a one-year extension with the Melbourne Mustangs (Australia, AIHL). Last season, with the Mustangs, he had 13 goals and 16 assists in 22 games. He was named the AIHL championship final MVP as the Mustangs won the title. The AIHL regular season begins on April 25. . . .
F Carter Proft (Brandon, Spokane, 2010-14) has signed a one-year extension with the Kassel Huskies (Germany, DEL2). In 50 games this season, he had four goals and 17 assists. Proft has dual Canadian-German citizenship. . . .
F Jens Meilleur (Brandon, 2010-14) has signed a one-year extension with the Kassel Huskies (Germany, DEL2). In 52 games this season, he had 32 points, including 18 goals. He has dual Canadian-German citizenship.

The Lethbridge Hurricanes held a public information session on Monday night. The meeting had nothing to do with finances as it wasn’t an AGM or a shareholders’ meeting. . . . Pat Siedlecki has more on his blog right here.
F Mads Eller of the Edmonton Oil Kings may return tonight for Game 4 against the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings, who hold a 2-1 edge in the series. Eller left Sunday’s game in the first period after running into the gate as he attempted to check Brandon F Braylon Shmyr. He hit the open gate with his neck/shoulder area. “There’s no structural damage,” Edmonton head coach Steve Hamilton told Rob Henderson of the Brandon Sun. “I’ve seen that hit or incident on a couple of different angles and . . . it was hard to watch but miraculous that there wasn’t damage beyond what he’s gone through.” . . . Tonight’s game will be televised on Sportsnet.
The Tri-City Americans are running out of defencemen as they attempt to get back in their series with the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Game 3 is scheduled for tonight in Kennewick, Wash., with the Rockets up 2-0 and having yet to surrender even one goal. . . . Riley Hillis, who missed the last 10 games of the regular season, returned for the first two games but will be a game-time decision. Carter Cochrane’s season is over after he had shoulder surgery. On top of that, Tyler Morrison suffered an undisclosed injury in Game 2 on Saturday. . . . If Hillis isn’t able to play, the Americans will be down to five defencemen. . . . Kelowna lost D Devante Stephens (right leg) during Saturday’s game. The Rockets are already without D Josh Morrissey, who isn’t expected to play in this series.

The Regina Pats hold a 2-0 lead as they go into Swift Current to meet the Broncos tonight. In its last 11 trips to Swift Current over the past three seasons, Regina has two victories. . . .
F Quintin Lisoway of the Brandon Wheat Kings underwent left knee surgery on Monday in Winnipeg. Lisoway, who will be 20 next season, is expected to be ready for training camp. Dr. Peter MacDonald, who works with the Winnipeg Jets, repaired Lisoway’s anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament. . . .
This being playoff time, the Everett Silvertips are saying little about the status of D Ben Betker, who suffered an arm injury during a 6-2 loss to the visiting Spokane Chiefs in Game 2 of their series on Saturday night. . . . Betker left in the first period and didn’t return. His status for Game 3 on Wednesday isn’t known. As Nick Patterson of the Everett Herald write: “If Betker is unavailable for Wednesday's Game 3 in Spokane it's a big blow for the Tips. The 6-foot-6 overager plays heavy minutes against opposing top lines as a member of Everett's top defensive pairing.” . . . The series is tied, 1-1.

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