A rare Thursday evening KIJHL home game at the Plywood Palace saw the Rockets in a key divisional matchup against the visiting Creston Valley ThunderCats. A boisterous crowd of over 250 had lots to cheer about in this one, so let’s get right to the action…………….
Thursday, Nov.10th, 2022 Rockets 8 Creston 3
In much the same vein as the 100 Mile House game two weeks ago, the Goldenites started a bit tentative in the early going but, once they established their attack, the club rolled to an impressive 8-3 victory.
With the exception of the opening minute of play, this could quite possibly be the most complete game the Rockets have played thus far this season. From the solid, standup defence (both at the blueline and between the pipes), to the relentless forechecking (winning the races for the “loose pucks”), to the crisp, accurate passing and shooting, the hometown club put in a full, complete game.
It was the ThunderCats who got on the scoreboard first, wasting little time connecting with a Carson McNeill breakaway just :22 seconds after the opening face-off. That seemed to be a virtual wakeup call for the Rockets, as they regrouped quickly and took over the play. At the 8:59 mark, the KIJHL’s assist leader Levi Lamotte proved he can also put the puck into the net, striking for the tying goal in a goal-mouth scramble after Tanner Watson and Ethan Aebly had worked the puck in close.
A minute later Golden had a chance to gain the lead, with Captain Jordan Lario intercepting a cross-ice pass at centre ice, moving in on the breakaway, but firing the puck just a bit wide of the top corner. The Rockets did manage to hit for the go-ahead goal at 12:01, when some great forechecking deep in the Creston corner by Zac Siudy resulted in Golden sniper Nick Morin firing home his 11th goal of the year.
In the middle frame (in what seemed to be a rerun of the first period), Creston’s initial pressure early resulted in a breakaway attempt, but Rocket netminder Levi Hall came up huge with a key save. The visitors leading scorer Luke Chakrabarti did manage to tie things up at 2-2 near the midway mark of the period, but from then on it was all Golden Rockets.
At 14:28 Liam Furlong worked the puck down the ice with some great skating, shuffled a smooth pass to Austin Angus whose low, hard snapshot handcuffed the Creston goalie Parker Forrest. The talented TCat made a good, initial save but couldn’t corral the rebound, before Rocket speedy forward Dominic Fiorentino jumped on the loose puck and fired it home. Before the second period ended, Golden had increased the margin to 4-2 when, at 18:42, Jordan Lario was fed a perfect breakaway pass and made no mistake with a neat deke.
The third period could be described as the Jordan Lario/Hayden Barr Show.
It all began at the 2:21 mark when, from the face-off deep in the Creston end. As the linesman dropped the puck, Lario neatly slid it over to Barr in front of the ThunderCat cage, and the wiry winger likewise neatly slid the puck to the back of the net.
The teams traded quick markers within a minute just past the midway mark of the frame, with Jordan Lario’s tally countered by Campbell McLean. Just seconds afterward, it appeared Creston had closed the margin further, but the visitors were assessed a minor penalty prior to the puck entering the net.
That opened the door for a pair of Rocket goals in less than a minute. A powerplay goal by Jordan Lario on a redirect in front at 14:32, followed quickly by Hayden Barr’s second of the contest just :44 seconds later put this game away.
Final score was 8-3. Rockets outshot Creston 39-27.
A solid team effort in this one. Of note for the contest:
– Jordan Lario…….a 5-point game
– Ethan Aebly…….. a 4-assist night
– Levi Lamotte ……..a 3-point game
– Hayden Barr ………. 1st multi-goal night
– Levi Hall ………….. 3 key saves in the 2nd period
– Rockets defence solid all game
We could go on and on ……