The annual Rockets’ Family Weekend celebration took place with a pair of home games at the Plywood Palace, where the local KickingHorse stars came away with one win and a loss. The end of November marks the midway mark in the KIJHL regular season schedule, and the Rockets continue with their fine play…………
Friday, Nov.25th, 2022 Fernie 6 Rockets 4
The first forty minutes of Friday’s contest against Fernie were effectively controlled by the Rockets. However, (as every hockey coach will tell you), each hockey game is a full sixty minutes long, and when the smoke cleared in this one, the visitors prevailed.
The Rockets have been playing with great energy thus far this season, being solid at both ends of the ice. This is quite evident as they remain strong in the race for top spot in the Eddie Mountain Division. There is one area however, which needs some attention; i.e., giving up an early period goal.
It took the visiting Fernie Ghostriders just :31 seconds to move into the lead, when Kort Kisinger worked his way down the right wing, got behind the Rocket defence and made a quick deke.
The local stars tightened up after that, and were rewarded with a Nick Morin powerplay marker at 9:55 to tie the game. Then, at 13:38 the club moved ahead 2-1 when Kade Cochlan fed a neat pass between the skates of the Fernie defender to Zac Siudy flying down the left wing, and the speedy centerman made no mistake with a quick wristshot to the top corner. Rocket’s Ethan Aebly had a hand in engineering both Rocket goals.
In the middle period, the Goldenites increased the margin to 4-1. At 1:26, Nick Morin grabbed the puck on the end boards, faked going behind the net and slid a perfect pass to Levi Lamotte standing unattended at the side of the crease. Five minutes later, Kylow Monkman (with some impressive forechecking) stripped the puck off the defenceman deep in the Fernie end, moved in all alone on goal, and hit the back of the net.
The Rockets appeared in control of the contest at this point, but a second Ghostrider tally just :17 seconds later from Michele Romeo ran the score to 4-2 after forty minutes.
The third period saw a very determined Fernie club scratch back. The visitors turned up the pressure in the Golden end of the ice, and had the majority of the territorial advantage all period.
And it showed on the scoreboard.
The Ghostriders struck for no less than four unanswered goals in the period. Jack Karpyshyn and Ethan MacDuff got things moving early, hitting in succession in just over one minute. A Taylor Haggerty powerplay marker midway through the period would put Fernie into the lead to stay, as they would add an empty-netter in the final minute.
Final score was 6-4. Shots were fairly even at 38-36 for Fernie.
Saturday, Nov.26th, 2022 Rockets 3 Kimberley 0
It didn’t take long for the Rockets to shake off their loss to Fernie the night before, as they tangled with the visiting Kimberley Dynamiters Saturday evening. This game was a total team effort from the opening face-off to the final horn, as the Goldenites put in a strong, solid sixty minutes of hockey. Behind the superb netminding of Levi Hall, the club rolled to an impressive 3-0 victory.
The Rockets came out firing on all cylinders in this one. Despite being outshot in the early going, the team made the most of their scoring chances, opening up a 2-0 lead in the first three minutes of the opening period.
At 1:24, it was Golden Captain Jordan Lario leading the way, bringing the hometown crowd to its feet when, after taking a quick pass from Liam Flynn, neatly stickhandled around both Kimberley defensemen and picked the short side with a snapshot. Shortly afterwards, at 2:57, fiery forward Kade Cochlan hit for his 6th goal of the year (on the powerplay) after cruising through the high slot and firing home the ‘one-timer’ off a feed from Jordan Lario and Nick Morin.
The margin was increased to 3-0 midway through the frame, when the Rockets again struck on the power play, with Jordan Lario completing a three-point night, deflecting home a Levi Lamotte drive from the right boards.
And that proved to be all the scoring in this contest.
In the second period, both club’s penalty-kill units were pressed into service on a number of occasions, but the score remained unchanged.
In the final period, the Nitro’s tried to get on the scoreboard, but Levi Hall came up with several sparkling saves time and again to record his 1st KIJHL shutout. This was the first time the Kimberley club has been shutout in regulation time in nearly three years.
Rockets defense shone all game. The defensive pairings of Nathan Kaye/Jeff Mamuad, Liam Flynn/Tanner Watson, and Ethan Aebly/Alexander Johnson were strong in keeping the Kimberley attack at bay.
Final score was 3-0. Rockets were outshot 38-24.
Rockets remain in second place in the Eddie Mountain Division, just a single point behind Columbia Valley.
Next weekend Golden will again battle the Ghostriders in a home-and-home series, which gets underway Friday night at the Plywood Palace and concludes Saturday in Fernie.