The Rockets made some roster moves last week moving four players out and bringing in three new players. However with a tough three game weekend, the Rockets continued their season long struggle to get a win.
On Monday November 20, the Rockets announced they traded Ryan Partaker to the Fernie Gostriders for a player development fee (PDF) and goalie Colton Iwaschuk was moved to the Columbia Valley Rockies. They also announced they acquired the playing rights of Matthew Lee from the Osoyoos Coyotes for a PDF and Johhny Elias from the Oceanside Generals.
The next day the Rockets moved Breaden Dey to the Nanaimo Buccaneers for a PDF and Christian Dees went to the Cochrane Generals in Alberta. On November 22, they announced they acquired the playing rights of Gabe Scigliano from the Creston Valley Thudercats.
Rockets Head Coach and General Manager Jason Stephens said he and the coaching staff felt it was time to start making changes to the team.
“Sometimes you have to shake the tree and with our record I think it was time to shake the tree and make some changes and hopefully wake a few guys up,” Stephens said. “We’ve given a couple guys the opportunity to go play in other communities and they’ll welcome the guys with open arms.
This Rockets had a tough three game weekend ahead with games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Friday night’s home game against the Spokane Braves gave the crowd an opportunity to see the new players in action right away. Elias got off to a fast start on the team recording an assist eight minutes in when Jake Gudjohnson scored to lead 1-0. The Braves tied it at one three minutes later, but Elias scored his first goal as a member of the Rockets with an assist by Jacksyn Goodall. The Braves scored two more times however, taking a 3-2 lead into the first intermission.
The second period was no different as the Braves continued their scoring, netting three more goals in the period while the Rockets only managed to score one after Goodall slipped it past Braves goalie Trevor Dilauro and the second period ended 6-3.
In the third period the Rockets fought hard, but gave up two more goals trailing 8-3. The Rockets would get one more with Gudjonson scoring his second of the night, but it wouldn’t be enough as the Rockets would lose 8-4.
Stephens said he was happy with the performance of the three new players, especially Elias with his goal and assist in the first period, but said with all the changes, he knew tonight would be a tough night.
Saturday the Rockets travelled to Sparwood for a game against the Fernie Ghostriders. The first period ended in a 1-1 tie with Brendan Nemes scoring for the Ghostriders and Gudjonson scoring for the Rockets. The Ghostriders would take over in the second period recording 19 shots on net and scoring four goals to take a 5-1 lead into the second intermission.
The third period the Ghostriders increased their lead to 6-1 after Keelan Saworski scored his second of the night three minutes in. The Rockets fought back and Gudjonson scored his second goal of the night with assists by Dysen Rhinehart and Jacksyn Goodall. The Ghostriders would get one more and would win the game 7-2.
The weekend only got tougher for the Rockets with an afternoon game in Castlegar against the Rebels.
The Rebels dominated the game, putting 51 shots on net while the Rockets only managed 11. The final score of the game was 10-0 for the Rebels with Chris Breese and Everett Hicks each scoring two goals.
Stephens said he expects to make a few more moves this coming week and in the weeks to come.
“We’re at the point of trying to make sure we’re making the right changes that will improve the squad player by player.”