The Kimberley Dynamiters have won the Teck Cup after an overtime goal in game seven from Kimberley local Justin Sommer and assists from Cam Reid and Tristan Weill.
“It’s all a blur, I’m just so proud and happy for these guys, they totally deserve this,” said head coach, general manager Derek Stuart. “I don’t have any words, I’m just proud of the boys.”
This is Stuart’s second Teck Cup with the club and he said earlier in this final series that this season’s team reminded him of that winning squad from 2018.
That the game was won in the way it was after such a great series by a Kimberley local makes hoisting the cup that much more special.
“It should say a lot for all the young kids in Kimberley, that if you work hard and you do the right things you can play on the Dynamiters, and not only play, you can be big-impact players,” Stuart said. “If I had a person to pick to score the winning goal, Justin Sommer probably would have been up near the top of my list, or at the top.
“Our hardest working player and he just deserves something like that. Obviously it’s fantastic to win, but it makes it a little more special when a guy like Justin gets the game-winning goal.”
It was a tough series all the way throughout between two great teams and Stuart said earlier it made sense that it would be decided in game seven.
The first goal of the game didn’t come until the final seconds of the first period, scored by Kimberley captain Jayden Kostiuk.
The Posse fired back within the first minute of the second and the game was tied until a goal from Campbell McLean, his twelfth of the post season, late in the period.
Kimberley held that one-goal lead with goaltender Matt Fleet warding off an onslaught of shots from the Posse.
Then with just over 70 seconds left in the game and the win all but secured, Princeton’s Peyton Trzaska left the net and the Posse scored the equalizer with fans in the stands going absolutely wild.
“I’ve been a nervous wreck all day,” Stuart said. “I tried to hide it my best and I hope I did, but that was a stressful, long day and every shift from the start of the game to the very end of the game was intense. You were alert and focused and intense and it’s a relief to win and it’s a relief to take a big breath here and have some fun.”
A tense game turned into a tense overtime and it looked like either team could take it at any moment. As the 20-minute period, the Dynamiters pulled off one great, final play and Sommer managed to beat Trzasksa and secure the victory.
He said that the team’s resiliency they’ve shown since going down three games and bouncing back to win in round two shone through this series and gave them the edge to win over a closely matched opponent.
“I can’t believe how great of a series that was,” he said. “That’s the best hockey series I think I’ve been a part of. Both teams were very deserving of winning and we ended up on top.”
With this win the Nitros have punched their ticket to the Cyclone Taylor Cup and will need to be in Revelstoke later this week. They will join the Revelstoke Grizzlies, the Oceanside Generals and the Delta Ice Hawks.
“We’re going to celebrate first and we’ll deal with that tomorrow.”