Friday, November 5th, 2021 Beaver Valley 5 Rockets 4 (OT)
A good test for the Rockets came on this Friday night before the hometown faithful, as they matched skills against the visiting Beaver Valley NiteHawks. Beaver Valley currently sits atop the standings in the Neil Murdoch Division (two points up on Nelson), while the Eddie Mountain Division remains by far the top competitive division, with a mere 5 points separating first and fifth place.
The first period saw the visitors hit for the only goal at 9:06, when Ollie Clement banged home a loose puck from a scramble in front of the net. The NiteHawks had the Rockets back on their heels for much of the period, doubling up the shots at 16-8. At the final whistle of the frame, the Rockets were assessed a minor penalty, to start the second period shorthanded.
In the middle frame the Golden penalty-kill units were put to the test time and again against the strong Beaver Valley attack. And, behind the strong goaltending of Levi Hall, the penalty-killing came up big on virtually every occasion. At 13:47 however, the West Kootenay club stretched their lead to 2-0 with a Gavin Tritt goal, a deflection from the point. But then the Rockets started to push back a little. Just one minute later on a fine individual rush, Aidan Ballance brought the crowd to their feet with an unassisted effort as he picked up speed along the left boards, manoeuvred around the NiteHawk defence, and neatly tucked the puck into the short side.
Four minutes later however, with Golden on the power play looking to tie things up, Beaver Valley struck for a shorthanded goal to restore the two-goal margin at 18:46. Golden quickly responded before the end of the period, as Henry Loewen took a perfect pass through the crease, and made no mistake at the side of the net, on a setup from Zac Siudy and Jock Michael. The second period ended 3-2.
In the first minute of the final frame it looked as if the visitors had struck again, but the wraparound attempt was called ‘no goal’ with the net off its moorings. Beaver Valley later, at the 5:10 mark, did run the score to 4-2 when Austin McKenzie was left unattended high in the slot and beat Hall with a wrist shot. Golden, however, wasn’t to be undone.
The comeback began at 8:49 when Henry Loewen struck for his second of the game (6th of the season). Jordan Lario and Brydon Foster each picked up assists on the marker, which saw Loewen bang home a rebound from in front of the net, after a Golden point shot had hit the post. At 14:19, the hometown crowd rose once again, when Jock Michael and Zac Siudy again went to work, this time setting-up Drayden Gibson for his first goal of the year in a goal-mouth scramble. Regulation ended in a 4-4 draw, setting up the extra 5-minute session.
And in the overtime, the NiteHawks came out flying from the opening face-off effectively hemming Golden in their own end. At 1:06 of the extra session, they found the winner off the stick of Hayden Stocks. Final score was 5-4. Beaver Valley outshot the Rockets 44-22.
Of note in the game, the ability of the Rockets to comeback from a 4-2 deficit in the third to send the game into the overtime speaks highly of their determination and work. The Rockets penalty-kill units again came up big. With the single point, the Rockets keep pace in the tight divisional standings, and travel to Kimberley Saturday for another key matchup.