It was a disappointing weekend for the Rockets on the road after a 6-2 loss to the Beaver Valley Nitehawks and a 5-2 setback against the Spokane Braves. The Rockets failed to sustain the momentum they built after last weekend’s victory over the Columbia Valley Rockies, but the Rockies extended their losing streak to 10, keeping Golden a single point back of Columbia Valley for the final playoff spot in the Eddie Mountain Division.
The task was large on Friday night against the Nitehawks. Beaver Valley boasts a sparkling 33-7-1-2 record to lead the Neil Murdoch Division over the Nelson Leafs and it showed early on. The Nitehawks took the lead with 6:29 left in the first when Jeremy Lucchini beat Rockets netminder Adam Johnson. Taylor Stafford extended the lead for Beaver Valley four minutes later and it was a 2-0 deficit for the Rockets heading into the first intermission.
The Nitehawks added to their lead with a pair of goals within the first six minutes of the second to put the Rockets in a big 4-0 hole.
Ian Desrosier got the Rockets on the board with eight minutes left in the second to give the visitors some life and Bowen Alcock added a goal of his own late in the second frame to give Golden a real shot at the comeback in the third.
Unfortunately for the Rockets, that was as close as they would come. Beaver Valley added two more to their total in the third to put the finishing touches on the 6-2 victory.
The Rockets made the trip south to Spokane the next night for a battle with the Braves.
The home team got on the board first to give themselves a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes.
In the second the Rockets scored a couple goals just 1:32 apart courtesy of Alcock and Braeden Allkins to take a 2-1 lead, but Spokane tied it up with 5:07 left in the second thanks to a shorthanded goal from Dillon Bogart.
The game remained tied until the final minutes of play when the Braves scored two goals a little over a minute apart to take a commanding 4-2 lead late in the third. The Rockets failed to mount a comeback and the Braves added a late empty netter for the 5-2 win.
The Rockets will finish up a four game road swing with a game against the Kimberley Dynamiters Friday night before returning home to face the Grand Forks Border Bruins. A crucial two game home and home series looms with the Columbia Valley Rockies on Feb. 7 and 8 the following week.