Tuesday, January 25th, 2022 Columbia Valley 2 Rockets 1
Tuesday night’s game against the Columbia Valley Rockies completed a four-game homestand for the Rockets, and the local stars came to play in this one, matching talents with our valley rivals through the full sixty minutes.
There wasn’t much room to manoeuvre on the ice in the opening twenty minutes, as both clubs settled into a disciplined, tight-checking affair. Shots on goal were at a minimum for netminders Levi Hall and Scott Thompson as the period went scoreless.
Columbia Valley managed to open the scoring at 2:17 of the middle stanza when Owen Hughes was left all alone at the side of the Rockets net, and fired a quick wristshot to the top corner. Both clubs penalty-kill units were tested midway through the frame, and on each occasion stymied the opposition powerplay.
The visitors extended the lead to 2-0 at 14:12, as Columbia Valley sniper Kayde Kinaschuk hit for his league-leading 27th goal of the season on a 15-ft. bullet from the right side that got past Hall.
The Rockets regrouped and came out in the third period determined to get back into the contest quickly. And it showed on the ice.
At the 3:00 mark, Aidan Ballance utilized his explosive speed to race into the clear, but Thompson was equal to the task. The pressure paid off for Golden at 6:17 as fiery forward Kade Cochlan converted a perfect pass in front, and his low shot found the back of the net.
For the remainder of the period, it was Scott Thompson again coming up big on numerous occasions, as Golden tested him from several angles with some good passing and acceleration.
Rockets pulled their netminder with 1:11 left in regulation, but couldn’t find the equalizer. The game (perhaps fittingly) ended with a goal-mouth scramble in front of the Columbia Valley goal, and Thompson making one last save. Rockets outshot their southern neighbours 14-8 in the period.
Final score was 2-1. Shots on goal for the game were fairly even at 28-25.
The Rockets will be busy on the road this weekend with three games in three nights. Starting Friday in Fernie, Saturday evening in Creston and finishing up in Fruitvale to tangle with Beaver Valley Sunday afternoon. Three key matchups for the local stars as the schedule heads into the last quarter.
Next home game for the Rockets will be Friday, February 4th vs Columbia Valley.