The last time the Golden Rockets ended the regular season in second place (their highest) was the 1996-1997 season. The Golden Rockets entered the KIJHL (Kootenay International Ice Hockey League) as an expansion team in 1991. They are in the Eddie Mountain Division, one of four in the KIJHL. The others are the Neil Murdoch, Doug Birk and Okanagan Divisions. Eddie Mountain teams are: (from top of the valley to the bottom) Golden Rockets, Columbia Valley Rockies, Kimberley Dynamiters, Fernie Ghostriders and the Creston Thundercats. Creston did not make it to the Playoffs this year and Fernie Ghostriders battled with us through the regular season for first place in the Division and took it.
The team ended the season with various records broken: Most points 69; Most wins 31; Least losses 14. And 21 points better than last season! All kinds of improvement!
The Playoffs in Eddie Mountain has the Fernie Ghostriders playing the Columbia Valley Rockies and the Rockets playing the Kimberley Dynamiters. The Rockets and Dynamiters kicked off the KIJHL Playoffs last night (February 21st). Tonight the other three divisions kick off their games and Fernie & Columbia Valley get the fire started on Saturday night.
At last night's game we were privileged to have with us Vice President of the KIJHL, Eddie Mountain Division, Mr. Milton Crawford. He met our team President Curt Thorne at centre ice just before the game started to make some presentations. Year End Awards were presented to our netminder #1 James Leonard for Top Netminder in Eddie Mountain and to our top sniper on the team #9 Connor Beauchemin for Most Sportsmanlike Player in Eddie Mountain. To say we are proud here in Golden is an understatement. Congratulations to James and Connor!
Last night's Game One was taken by our Golden Rockets 4-2. It was an intense, never a dull moment, fun and exciting game from start to finish with a great Thursday night crowd of 297. I suspect there'll be more in the Plywood Palace tonight. We face a worthy opponent in the "never quit" Kimberley Dynamiters. It promises to be another barn burner of a game for tonight's match-up.
Just for your information:
The KIJHL is into its 45th year this 2012-2013 season since the first puck dropped in September of 1967.
The winner of Eddie Mountain will go on to face one of the division winners. The winner of the KIJHL's Playoffs will go on to compete for the Cyclone Tayler Cup with winners from the Pacific International Junior Hockey League (PIJHL) and the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL) and a host team who appears to be the Comox Valley Glacier Kings this year. The Cyclone Taylor Cup is named after the Hockey Hall of Fame member Fred "Cyclone" Taylor who was a key part of the Vancouver Millionaires Stanley Cup Victory in 1915. What a fantastic history here!