For the 7th time this season, the Golden Rockets have split a two-game weekend (this time on the road), just “edged-out” by Nelson Friday and just “edging-by” Castlegar Saturday.
Friday, Jan.27th, 2023 Nelson 6 Rockets 5
A gallant comeback for the Rockets in this one, which fell just a bit short.
The clubs traded early first period goals, with Nelson’s Johnny Carmichael’s powerplay goal at 3:49, answered by Rocket’s sniper Nick Morin’s 20th goal of the year, on a setup by Liam Furlong less than one minute later.
Before the period ended however, the Queen City corps had moved ahead 3-1 with Leighton Partington and Tyson Lautard connecting.
The teams once again swapped tallies in the early minutes of the middle stanza, with the Rocket’s Hayden Barr countering Nelson’s Lucas Byrne’s goal. At the 6:14 mark, Lucas Byrne had yet another opportunity, being awarded a penalty shot. But Golden’s talented Levi Hall was equal to the task in goal.
Nelson did manage to move into a 5-2 lead at 11:46, but the Rockets came storming back in the remaining minutes, to close the margin to 5-4 after forty minutes. Liam Furlong and Kylow Monkman each found the mark.
In the final frame, the Rockets put on the pressure and found the equalizer at 5:19 on the powerplay, when Dominic Fiorentino tucked the puck to the back of the Leaf net, tying the contest.
Under two minutes later, Nelson regained their one-goal advantage on a Tyler Seminoff tally. The Rockets skated well, but couldn’t get another past Leaf goalie Jasper Tait. Final score was 6-5, with Nelson outshooting Golden 41-34.
Liam Furlong led the Rockets attack, with one goal and two assists.
Saturday, Jan.28th, 2023 Rockets 5 Castlegar 4 (Shootout)
This contest started out as a thrilling sequel to Friday’s script in Nelson, with the Rockets falling behind on the scoreboard, then solidly fighting back. The plot was similar, the protagonist identical, the antagonist varied and the outcome tense.
No scoring in the first period, but the hometown Rebels were on fire in the early going of the second frame, striking for three consecutive goals in just over two minutes. The Rockets slowly began to get back in the game afterwards, clawing their way into the contest with powerplay markers by Zac Suidy and Dominic Fiorentino.
In the 3rd period, it was the Rockets firing on all cylinders early, tying the game at 3-3 just :14 seconds after the initial face-off, as Nick Morin found the range. Then, at 1:09, Liam Furlong’s powerplay goal put Golden in the lead for the first time all weekend. Two minutes later though, Castlegar’s Daytn Kulynych (with his 2nd goal of the game) deadlocked things once again. Regulation ended tied at 4-4.
Nothing was solved in the OT session. In the subsequent player-shootout, Rocket’s netminder Levi Hall (as he has on several occasions this season), completely shutdown the opposition snipers. While Levi was performing his heroics, Rockets talented forward Dominic Fiorentino worked his patented moves and found the eventual winner in a 5-4 decision.
Rockets remain tied with Fernie for third place in the tough Eddie Mountain Divisional standings, each with 47 points.