The Kimberley Dynamiters suffered a 4-1 defeat to the Princeton Posse on home ice on Tuesday, April 4, and the series is now tied at two games apiece.
Princeton showed up to play and performed far better than in game three, making some undoubtedly sensational goals on their way to victory, but unfortunately what fans will remember most about game four is the sound of the ref’s whistle.
A total of 41 penalty minutes were given to the Dynamiters and 32 minutes were given to the Posse over the course of the 60-minute game, drawing the ire of the 1100 fans in the stands.
“No there’s no chance for any rhythm or flow,” Dynamiters head coach Derek Stuart said after the game. “The refs aren’t the reason we lost, but they definitely killed the flow, for sure.
“There’s been far too many penalties called on both teams all series in my opinion. It’s the finals, let them play.”
He said a couple Kimberley’s penalties were undisciplined, but added the Posse have “drastically increased their embellishing in the last two games.”
“It’s tough. We’re in a series here, so we want to wear these guys down cleanly and physically,” he said. “I think this has just started so it’s obviously a coaching tactic on their part, but they fooled the refs tonight so it worked for them.
“We’re used to playing physical here over on this side of the conference. And they weren’t diving in the first two games, so it’s obviously an adjustment they made, but it’s definitely hard for the guys to play hockey the right way.”
One big example Stuart took objection to was when Christian Mealey who was served a Head Contact and Game Misconduct late in the second period.
“We get a major penalty for a clean check to the chest just because their player got hurt,” he said. “That was as clean a hit as you can make.”
All penalties aside, Stuart said his team simply didn’t bring their A game to the ice in game four and it cost them. Princeton knows how to put the puck in the net and has a big, talented goaltender protecting theirs.
“He’s a fantastic goaltender, but we’ve got one too and we’ve just got to get more traffic in front of their net,” Stuart said. “Our speed does kill them, but unfortunately we weren’t ready tonight and we didn’t bring any speed.”
Stuart said the Nitros need to get back to playing their game in game five, which is back in Princeton on Thursday, April 6. Game six will be at the Civic Centre on Saturday, April 8 at 7 p.m. Be sure to get there early.