A promising week ended on a sour note for the Golden Rockets as the club strung together a pair of home victories last Wednesday and Friday before falling to the Fernie Ghostriders on the road.
Golden got off to a flying start in their first game of the week against the Columbia Valley Rockies. The newly formed trio of Connor Beauchemin, Tanner Watt and Jacob Macpherson wasted no time getting on the scoresheet in what would turn out to be a dominant week for the Rockets’ first line. Watt opened the scoring a little over 6 minutes into the game with some help from Beauchemin and Rockets’ captain Brett DeFrias. A pair of goals midway through the first by Cole Mckechney and Beauchemin would give the home side a commanding lead early on and Watt extended that late in the period with his second goal of the night. The Rockies would narrow the gap when forward Racey Big Snake beat Rockets’ netminder Brian Parsons, but late in the period, Beauchemin added his second goal of the game to restore the 3 goal advantage. Parsons shut the door in the third, and made 21 saves on the night as Golden cruised to the 4-1 victory.
The test appeared to be tougher heading into Friday night’s matchup, as the Creston Valley Thunder Cats had previously handed the Rockets their worst loss of the season, an 8-2 decision on Sept. 20. The Rockets appeared to be extra motivated for this one from the opening face-off and Macpherson scored just 32 seconds into the game. His goal was soon followed with a goal by David Barbour to give Golden a 2-0 lead with the ice still fresh at the Plywood Palace. The teams traded goals the rest of the period, with Macpherson and Beauchemin tallying the markers for the Rockets to give them a 4-2 advantage after 20 minutes of play. Macpherson completed the hat-trick early in the second period but Thunder Cats’ Trevor Hanna would score his second goal of the game to keep Creston Valley close. Watt added a goal towards the end of the period and Golden had a comfortable 6-3 lead heading into the final frame. The Rockies would score once more but Beauchemin scored his second goal and sixth point of the game into an empty net to finish off the Thunder Cats and secure a 7-4 victory. The top line scored 6 of the Rockets’ 7 goals on the night, capping off a dominant two game stretch that saw Beauchemin, Watt and Macpherson put up 9, 9 and 6 points respectively. Head coach Ty Davidson put the line together when forward Nick McCabe went out with an injury.
“They’ve found a little confidence and some chemistry together and with those two things going on, they’ve had a lot of success here,” Davidson said.
Unfortunately for Davidson’s team, the Rockets have yet to back up their excellent play at home with victories on the road. That theme continued on Saturday night as the Rockets went quietly in a 4-0 loss to the Fernie Ghostriders. The Ghostriders scored a pair of shorthanded goals and Golden was unable to beat Riders’ goalie Phoenix Logan-Hill, who made 31 saves for the shutout as the Rockets closed their October schedule by being held off the scoresheet for just the second time this season. Golden managed a 5-0-0 record at home this month, but went 0-4-1 on the road to keep the team in last place in the Eddie Mountain Division.
“With a young team, I think [playing on the road] is a learning experience…maybe it is just a comfort level to figure out what they have to do to prepare themselves,” Davidson said.
Still, it was a far more productive month than September. Despite their 2-7 start to the season, they find themselves just 6 points behind division-leading Kimberley. Golden’s next home game is Friday night against the Chase Heat, before they travel to Fernie on Saturday for a rematch against the Ghostriders.