Rockets forward Liam Morris celebrates a goal in their 4-1 win over the North Okanagan Knights on Friday. Photo by Bill Pringle Photography

Rockets split weekend games

The Golden Rockets split their weekend games 1-1, first earning an impressive 4-1 win over the North Okanagan Knights, before coming up short 4-3 against the Kimberley Dynamiters. Both games were played on home ice, as part of a home stand that stretches into next weekend.

On Friday night, the Rockets found themselves in control of the game early on, and were up 1-0 on the Knights off of a goal from Jaden Callan with 1:30 to go in the opening frame.

The team took over in the second period, with two goals to extend their lead to 3-0 by the end of the period. The second goal of the game came off the stick of Colton Hutchinson, who buried the puck for his fourth goal of the season on a partial breakaway.

Liam Morris added a goal of his own, burying his own rebound with ten minutes to go in the second.

Morris wasn’t done yet, as he added a second goal in the third period, an insurance marker five minutes in to seal the deal. The Knights got one back halfway through the period, but it was too little too late as the Rockets cruised to the win.

Goalie Brandon Weare made 29 saves in the win, and finished with a .967 save percentage.

“Pucks are going in and bounces are going our way, that’s how you win games,” said Morris. “It feels good to score a couple of goals and do it in front of a big crowd.”

The Rockets faced stiffer competition in the Kimberley Dynamiters on Saturday, in their second game in as many nights. The team quickly found themselves down a pair of goals five minutes into the game, but managed to tie it up before the end of the period with goals from Jacob Dewar and Connor Funke.

The goals came a minute apart, with five minutes to go in the period. Funke’s goal was his first as a Rocket, after being acquired in a trade a few weeks ago.

Despite the strong finish to the first period, the team couldn’t keep the momentum going in their favour, as Kimberley came out strong for the second frame, scoring two goals of their own only a minute apart.

Alex Johnson added a shorthanded goal in the final few minutes of the second, but the comeback came up short as Kimberley locked it down in the third period. Despite a flurry of chances in the dying seconds of the game with the goalie pulled, the Rockets weren’t able to find the back of the net, and the Dynamiters took the game 4-3.

Goalie Ryan Baker made 39 saves in a night where he faced 43 shots.

Kimberley currently sits atop the Rockets division, with a 16-2 record. The loss was the Rocket’s first in November.

“We were there with them the whole time, we just didn’t get the result,” said Funke. “We were laying pretty physical and getting pucks to the net, but we didn’t have bodies in front.”

The games came on family weekend, where families and friends of the players came in from out of town to support the Rockets. Their home stand continues next weekend, with two more home games on the schedule on Friday November 22 and Saturday November 23. On Saturday, the Rockets will be retiring Jora Dhami’s #7 jersey, and will be dedicating the night to a celebration of Indo-Canadian culture.

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