Game three of the playoff series between the Golden Rockets and Fernie Ghostriders may have started out slow but ended with a bang on Friday night in Golden.
The teams came into the third tilt of the series tied at one game a piece after splitting the first two games in Fernie.
Nerves seemed to play a role early in the game with the Rockets giving the puck away on numerous occasions in the first period.
Neither team scored until late in the period when the Ghostriders took the lead on an end to end rush by R.T. Rice with a little over three minutes left in the first period.
Rice got his second point of the night a little over a minute later when he set up Derek Georgopoulos to give Fernie a 2-0 advantage.
The Rockets came out flying in the second and 51 seconds in to the period were rewarded with a goal from Carson George. Fernie struck back quick when Conn Lowe-Wylde scored to give the Ghostriders a 3-1 lead.
After this, the game started to shift in favour of the Rockets as Fernie got into penalty trouble in the second period.
In less than ten minutes the Rockets scored three power play goals to take the lead.
Bobby Kashuba, Blake Roney and Shane Rutherford all scored to give the Rockets a 4-3 lead. The Rockets took a two goal advantage late in the second when Carter Cochrane scored his third goal of the playoffs.
The power play was still cruising along for the Rockets in the third period as Connor Beauchemin grabbed an early goal.
Down by three goals and on the power play late in the game, the Ghostriders pulled their goalie only to have Braeden Allkins finish off the scoring for the Rockets who won 7-3.
Head coach of the Rockets Ty Davidson said once the team got over their early jitters, they had the game well in hand.
“I think we were a little nervous in front of our biggest crowd of the year. I think we got in that dressing room between the first and second period and settled things down,” Davidson said. “We came out and did things properly. As a result we really dominated the last 40 minutes.”
Davidson also acknowledged the strong play of special teams in the playoffs.
“It has been a strong area for us all year. I Think we have been one of the better teams in the regular season and it has continued into the playoffs,” he said.
He also said that the penalty kill also deserves a great deal of credit for the teams success. The Rockets not only scored on four of their power plays chances but also held Fernie to no goals on seven power play chances in game three.
Davison also wanted to thank the people in the crowd who came out and packed the arena.
“It was awesome. The last couple of weeks, with us getting through Kimberley, it has been fantastic. It is so nice to walk down the street and have people excited about our organization and what we are doing. To see them showing up in droves every playoff night has been fabulous.”