A fairly successful extended road trip to the Okanagan for the Rockets, as they came away with a pair of victories in three games against their Bill Ohlhausen Division opponents. Plenty of excitement in every contest.
Friday, Nov. 18th, 2022 Rockets 4 Princeton 3
The beginning of an important 3-game road trip started with the Rockets in Princeton to tangle with the Bill Olhausen Division leading Posse. The game was tight from the opening face-off onwards and, for the second game in a row for the Goldenites, a player-shootout was necessary to decide a winner. Also, for the umpteenth time in succession, Levi Hall was huge in the net for the local stars.
The opening period went scoreless. In the 2nd period Dayton Nelson struck for two goals early to move the Posse in front. However, Rockets Evan Tsadilas cut the margin in half with his 6th goal of the year assisted by Dominic Fiorentino and Jordan Lario.
The same trio combined again to tie the game at 2-2 at 7:17 of the third period, with slick forward Fiorentino finding the back of the net. Dayton Nelson completed his hat-trick for the Posse to once again move his club in front. That lead was short-lived, when Kole Giesbrecht and Austin Angus setup Brydon Foster for his 4th tally of the campaign.
Regulation ended 3-3. 5-minute OT solved nothing.
In the player-shootout, it was like watching the same, great movie once again. Levi Hall (as he did with Grand Forks a week prior), shutdown every opposition sniper facing a variety of moves. Added to that, it was yet another Captain Jordan Lario shootout winner being the difference in this contest.
Final score was 4-3. Rockets were outshot 51-29.
Saturday, Nov.19th 2022 Osoyoos 5 Rockets 2
The Rockets journeyed into the Southern Okanagan Saturday looking to extend their 3-game win streak against a Coyote club which was struggling over their last four games with only a single win. As it turned out, the Rockets were effectively grounded, coming out on the short end of a 5-2 decision. Osoyoos came out with a strong, balanced attack with five different goal scorers hitting the scoresheet.
The hosts wasted little time taking the lead, striking at the :37 second mark, and again just three minutes later. Rockets had a couple of powerplay opportunities later in the period but couldn’t connect and the first period ended 2-0.
The teams traded goals in the middle stanza. Golden’s Kole Giesbrecht (acquired from the Coyotes Oct.31st) cut the margin in half at 16:46, but Osoyoos quickly replied just over one minute later.
In the third period, the Coyotes went up 4-1 before Kole Giesbrecht (having a great game) again hit the twine for the Rockets, pushing the score to 4-2 with ten minutes to play. However, Golden was assessed no less than three minor penalties in a row, and spent six of those minutes playing shorthanded. Osoyoos would later add an empty-net goal.
Final score was 5-2. Rockets were outshot 42-33.
Sunday, Nov.20th, 2022 Rockets 6 Kelowna 4
The Rockets had little time to lick their wounds before they were back in action late Sunday afternoon against the Kelowna Chiefs. They were determined to rebound from the loss in Osoyoos, and as play unfolded in the Rutland Arena, the Goldenites appeared back on their disciplined game.
Allowing the opposition to open the scoring and take a brief lead, the Rockets answered with three tallies before the first period ended. At 7:12 Kole Giesbrecht continued his hot-hand from the night before, getting Golden even after a good setup by Nick Morin. A pair of powerplay goals in three minutes put Golden into a 3-1 lead. Sturdy blueliner Liam Furlong notched his 8th goal of the campaign at 10:47 assisted by fellow rearguard Ethan Aebly and Jordan Lario. At 13:29, KIJHL’s leading scorer Jordan Lario connected with helpers from Liam Furlong and the KIJHL’s leader in assists Levi Lamotte.
The Rockets continued to pressure into the middle frame, and extended their margin to 5-1 with a pair of markers off the stick of wiry forward Hayden Barr. Dominic Fiorentino pitched in with an assist on Hayden’s first goal. A Kelowna powerplay goal in the final seconds of the period moved the score to 5-2 after forty minutes.
But the Chiefs weren’t about to fold. The host club struck for two additional powerplay goals of their own, at 9:14 and 16:21, to tighten-up the contest. But that was as close as they would get, as Levi Lamotte added an empty-net goal to secure a 6-4 Rocket’s victory. Kelowna native Matthew Kuhnlein recorded the win in goal for Golden, turning aside 20 drives and playing a strong game between the pipes.
The win moves the Rockets into 2nd place in the Eddie Mountain Division, just a single point behind the Columbia Valley Rockies.
Rockets next home game is this Friday versus the Fernie Ghostriders.