For the final two games of 2011, the Golden Rockets went up against the top team in the division, the Fernie Ghostriders.
They fought a very tough battle for the home crowd on Dec. 20.
The Rockets opened up the scoring early with a goal from Bryden Marsh, sending teddy bears flying onto the ice. Members from Golden Minor Hockey skated out to collect all the bears, which were donated to the Golden Hospital.
Golden increased their lead less than a minute later after a power play goal from Kyle Garcia. And the period ended with a fight from hometown rookie Daniel Dahlin.
The Rockets went up 3-0 in the middle frame when Connor Beauchemin scored, earning him his second point of the night. Fernie started fighting back, getting their first goal of the night one minute later from Cole Conway. And just one minute after that, Garcia scored his second of the night.
The score was 4-2 after 40 minutes.
Golden struggled to hold onto the lead in the third period, the shots 18-5 in favour of Fernie. The Ghostriders scored four minutes into the period, leaving them trailing by only one.
The Rockets were 19 seconds away from leaving with two points, when Fernie scored the equalizer, sending the game into overtime.
The first five minutes of overtime couldn’t end the game, and the teams headed into double overtime, with Golden down a man after a hooking penalty called on Kolten Krchnak.
The Ghostriders capitalized on their power play opportunity, and ended the game 13 seconds in.
The final score was 5-4 for Fernie.
“I think the turning point was a power play that we had in the second period,” said Head Coach Ty Davidson. “It was awful. It did nothing but give them momentum. They came out of the box, we were backed on our heals. They scored a goal to make it 4-2, and it was down hill from there. I thought we really never regained control again.”
The teams played each other again the very next night, this time in Fernie. The Ghostriders dominated the scoreboard through most of the game. They were leading 3-0 after 40 minutes.
Rocket Bryden Marsh scored his team’s only goal of the game late in the third, but it proved too late to change the outcome. Fernie won 5-1.
The Rockets play their first three games of the new year on the road, but will be back in town for a eight-game home stretch starting on Saturday Jan. 7 against Fernie.
Congratulations are in order for Chris Hambruch, who won the Rockets’ Raffle grand prize of $9,000 at Tuesday’s game.