A pair of 4-3 decisions for the Rockets over the Thanksgiving weekend, resulting in a one-win and one-loss split, as the club continues to display significant improvement every contest.
Friday, October 7th, 2022 Columbia Valley 4 Rockets 3
When two evenly-matched clubs are playing a wide-open style for the entire 60 minutes, that spells nothing but excitement for valley hockey fans. That scenario was exactly the script on this night in Invermere, when Columbia Valley outlasted Golden 4-3.
As stated, the play was ‘wide-open’ as was evident with no less than 100 shots-on-goal in the game, with netminders Levi Hall (Golden) and Ewan McDevitt (Columbia Valley) busy all night.
Invermere caught Golden a bit flat-footed at the opening face-off, and connected for an Anthony Domina goal just 1:15 into the contest. A 3-minute span midway through the period saw a trio of markers, as Rocket’s smooth-skating Levi Lamotte hit for his 1st goal of the year at 9:20 to tie things up at 1-1.
The teams quickly traded goals shortly afterwards, with Carson Devine’s tally countered by Rocket’s wiry forward Kade Cochlan (with an assist to Tanner Watson). However, Columbia Valley regained the lead at 3-2 by the end of the period, as Kayde Kinaschuk struck at 14:33.
Only a single goal in the middle stanza, with the Rockies expanding their lead to 4-2 with a Roan Girard goal. The Goldenites drew a bit of penalty trouble in the latter part of the period, but were disciplined in successfully keeping the Invermere power play off the scoreboard.
The Rockets came out for the final frame with a jump in their step, looking the close the gap. At 18:40 Golden’s rugged rearguard Nathan Kaye found the back of the net to get things close, but the local stars ran out of time as the contest ended 4-3.
Invermere outshot Golden 52-48. Golden took 4 out of the 6 minor penalties called by referee Trey Huculak.
Saturday, October 8th, 2022 Rockets 4 Creston 3
Rockets were back on home ice for the first time in a couple of weeks. It was the Creston Valley ThunderCats in town on Saturday in what promised to be an exciting matchup. And it was that, and more, as this one went down to the wire in regulation time.
Very close checking for the opening ten minutes, as both teams found little space on the ice to generate any offensive rushes. It was Creston which got on the scoreboard first at 15:54, when Rocket goaltender Matthew Kuhnlein (in his 1st start of the season) made a tremendous save on an initial shot from the point, but couldn’t corral the rebound shot from Nikolai Morrison in time.
With two minutes left in the period, Rockets captain Jordan Lario was sent in neatly on a breakaway, but couldn’t connect for the equalizer.
In the second frame, Golden was on the powerplay to start the period, but was assessed a minor penalty just :18 seconds in. With the resultant 4-on-4, the Cats moved into a 2-0 lead on a low shot from Reece Nelson from ten feet out. At the 8:45 mark, Golden’s Derek Teare utilized his speed down the right wing to gain a breakaway, but the puck rolled off his stick as he attempted a quick deke to the right side.
With just :13 seconds left in the stanza, the Rockets cut the lead to 2-1 when Kade Cochlan and Levi Lamotte combined to setup an unattended Jordan Lario, whose quick wristshot from the left side found the back of the net.
In the final period, the Rockets powerplay connected at 5:05 to tie the game 2-2, with Nick Morin’s 4th of the year assisted by Ethan Aebly and Kade Cochlan. Then, less than two minutes later, Rocket’s lanky forward Kylow Monkman gave the local stars their first lead of the game, as he worked his way free through the centre-ice area taking a perfect feed from the defence, and made no mistake neatly tucking the puck behind the Creston goaltender.
That lead held until the visitors deadlocked the game at 16:05 with a tally of their own, on Connor Hanna’s shot to the top corner. It looked like an overtime was looming.
However, with just over a minute left in regulation time, the Rockets’ powerplay unit again came up big. Quick puck control from Ethan Aebly to Levi Lamotte to Jordan Lario (for his 7th goal of the season) proved to be the eventual winner, as the Rockets took a 4-3 win, outshooting Creston 33-31.
Some exciting action coming up for Golden on home-ice, as they tangle with Sicamous, Castlegar and Kamloops in quick succession next weekend!