The month of January has begun on a positive note for the Rockets. Their hardwork, dedication and tenacity are tangible on the ice and in the game summaries. A big four-point weekend for the local stars as they collected a pair of recent victories.
A quick glance at this weekend’s action ……….
Friday, Jan.6th, 2023 Rockets 9 Creston 4
As the Rockets travelled south on the road to Creston, it was very clear that this contest (and several more in January), were crucial to establishing positions within the Eddie Mountain Division standings. Nearly two months have passed since these two clubs faced-off against each other. The teams had split the first four games evenly, with Golden taking an 8-3 win way back on November 10th.
As in the game last fall, the KickingHorse offense was front and centre. Led by a three-point performance from Hayden Barr, along with solid outings from Evan Tsadilas, Austin Angus, Alexander Johnson and Nathan Kaye, this proved to be a total team effort, as no less than 11 Rocket players figured on the scoresheet.
Play in the first period was ‘wide-open’. Golden started quickly, banging home three goals before the game was ten minutes old. Hayden Barr got things moving, followed quickly by markers from Dominic Fiorentino and Alexander Johnson. Nick Morin, Evan Tsadilas and Austin Angus each found the back of the net later in the frame, while Creston replied with a pair of goals. The period ended with Golden in a 6-2 lead.
Just a single tally in the middle period, with Rocket’s rugged rearguard Nathan Kaye firing home an unassisted marker at 14:47. Golden netminder Levi Hall was simply outstanding in this period, as the ThunderCats threw everything they had at the Rockets net, outshooting Golden 19-4 in the frame, and were stymied at every opportunity.
The teams split four goals in the third period, as Austin Angus and Evan Tsadilas each hit for their second tallies of the contest, completing a solid 9-4 victory.
Levi Hall (selected as Star of the Game) was busy all night between the pipes for the club, turning aside 50 of the 54 shots which came his way.
Saturday, Jan.7th, 2023 Rockets 4 Kimberley 3 (Shootout)
For the second time in less than a week, Kimberley made the journey north to the Plywood Palace and, for the second time in a week, sixty minutes just wasn’t enough.
The Rockets started strong directly from the opening face-off, putting great pressure deep into the Nitro end, sending a half-dozen shots at goalie Trystan Self in the first three minutes. Golden’s versatile defensive star Liam Furlong had the crossbar ringing with one of his patented blue line drives.
At the the midway mark of the frame, Golden took a minor penalty, but effectively kept the Dynamiter powerplay off balance. However, just :07 seconds after the penalty ended, the opposition hit the scoreboard. Golden’s stalwart netminder Levi Hall made the initial save on a hard slapshot from Matt Saretsky, but couldn’t quite squeeze the rebound from Justin Sommer, as his quick shot trickled just over the goal-line.
With :40 seconds left in the period, Nitro goalie Self absolutely robbed Rocket’s Kade Cochlan from point-blank range to keep the score at 1-0 after 20 minutes.
The clubs traded goals in the middle frame. At 3:05, the trio of Nick Morin, Ethan Aebly and Kade Cochlan worked their face-off magic, just :06 seconds into a Rockets powerplay. Kimberley regained their one-goal edge at 7:46 on a Cash Regan breakaway goal.
In the final period, at 4:10, Golden’s speedy left winger Hayden Barr fired a low shot from 20 feet out which handcuffed Self, and Zac Siudy broke away from the Nitro defence to neatly slide home the rebound, to tie the game at 2-2.
That score held for the next 15 minutes, as both clubs battled end-to-end. And then, in the final minute, it was Kade Cochlan again triggering the Rocket attack. Grabbing a loose puck along the boards, the crafty forward flew down the left side, fired a low drive that unbalanced the Nitro goalie, and Dominic Fiorentino was all alone in front to tuck the loose puck to the back of the net.
It looked like Golden was ready to pull this game out, but with only :07 seconds left in regulation, the Dynamiter’s Ethan Bloomquist found the equalizer in a goal-mouth scramble.
The subsequent 5-minute OT session went scoreless, and the teams went into the Player Shootout.
And it didn’t take long, as both Rocket shooters Hayden Barr and Evan Tsadilas connected with quick dekes down low. Once again Levi Hall came up huge in the finale, barring the door on the Dynamiter shots.
Final score was 4-3. Rockets outshot Kimberley 36-34.