Three power play goals in the first period set the tone for the rest of the night and a clutch goal from Jacob Coehlo put the Rockets ahead for good in the third, giving the club just its second victory of the season.
Special teams were the difference in this one as the Rockets looked dangerous all night with the man advantage and capitalized on 3 of their 8 opportunities. Connor Beauchemin opened the scoring 6 minutes into the game after Ghostriders’ forward Justin Mitchell was assessed a double minor and given a 10 minute misconduct. With Mitchell still in the box for the second half of the double minor, rookie forward Nick Hoobanoff potted his second goal of the season to give Golden an early 2-0 lead. Fernie replied with goals from Kurtis Bond and Kale Johnson, but veteran defencemen Coltin Berard scored on the power play with 1:27 left in the first frame to give the home side the advantage at the break. It was Berard’s second point of the night and he would add an assist on an empty net goal to give him 10 for the season, placing him in a tie for second amongst all defencemen in the KIJHL.
Fernie tied things up with a little over eight minutes left in the 2nd period. That’s when the goaltenders started to really take over, especially Ghostriders’ keeper Phoenix Logan-Hill, who would make 42 saves on the night.
The Rockets were pressing for the go ahead goal from the opening face-off in the third period. Numerous opportunities went by the wayside, much to the chagrin of the 329 fans at the Plywood Palace. Coehlo gave the Rockets their first even strength goal of the night and a lead they wouldn’t relinquish with 8:46 remaining in the final period. A Ghostriders goal with 36 seconds left in the game was sandwiched in between a pair of Rockets empty netters to give Golden a 6-4 victory.
The win comes a night after the Rockets were soundly beaten in Fernie by a score of 5-1. Rockets’ head coach Ty Davidson was absent for that loss due to a one game suspension that was imposed because the Rockets had multiple fights during a stoppage in play in the last 10 minutes of their previous game. Davidson, who watched Friday’s game via video feed, believes the difference on Saturday night was the compete level of his team.
“There looked like there was a desire to win, more so than there has been in the past. I was extremely disappointed in the effort [Friday night] and that was my whole message [Saturday], that we have to compete harder…No one is going to come in here and feel sorry for us and just give us a win. We’re going to have to earn each and every one of them.”
The Rockets’ next game is Friday at home against the 7-2 Kamloops Storm. Golden will then travel to Kimberley for a game against the Dynamiters on Saturday before heading to Invermere next Tuesday for a date with the Columbia Valley Rockies.