The Rockets weekend got off to a dreadful start, but ended on a positive note that put the team in a playoff position for the first time all season. This is good news heading into a very important weekend of games.
Bowen Alcock scored 1:35 into the Rockets’ Friday night road contest against the Kimberley Dynamiters but it went all wrong for Ty Davidson’s team from there. Five unanswered Dynamiters goals later and the Rockets were staring at a 5-1 loss that could have been worse given the 42-20 shot count in Kimberley’s favour.
“It was very disappointing,” Davidson said regarding the loss. “We didn’t have a very good effort, it was a very uninspired effort too. With all that’s going on and how close the race is here, it was a very stale effort.”
The Rockets held a team meeting Saturday morning in preparation for a home game against the Grand Forks Border Bruins in an effort to re-group.
“[I said to them] ‘We’re down to the crunch here, if we win a few games here we’re in the playoffs’,” Davidson said referring to the morning meeting.
The discussion seemed to work, and the ice appeared to be titled decidedly in the Rockets’ favour Saturday night against the Border Bruins from the very beginning.
“It was one of those situations where we were all over them for the first eight minutes. There was barely a skate mark in our end,” Davidson said.
Unfortunately for the home team, the Rockets couldn’t solve Grand Forks netminder Dominic Stadnyk and the Bruins took advantage for a 2-0 lead after a couple of quick goals midway through the first.
The Rockets weren’t discouraged, however, and Braeden Allkins responded with just over five minutes left in the third to narrow the gap to 2-1. Nick McCabe tied things up halfway through the second period with his fifth goal of the season.
The game remained tied until the 2:40 mark of the third when Ian Desrosier scored a beautiful goal. Desrosier came down the wing and picked the short side corner with a nice shot to put the Rockets in front for the first time in the game.
The Bruins responded just 13 seconds later, but the Rockets took the lead for good with 10:52 left in the third. With the Bruins shorthanded and the Rockets displaying some nice puck movement, Michael Anderson faked a shot from the blueline then delivered a hard pass to Allkins who redirected the puck past Stadnyk for what would be the winning goal.
With the Columbia Valley Rockies continuing to struggle through what has now become a 12 game losing streak, the Rockets have taken over fourth place in the Eddie Mountain Division by virtue of having more wins than their Highway 95 rivals.
The Rockets’ ultimate fate this season could be determined this weekend with a pair of games against the Rockies on Friday and Saturday night and a road contest against the Fernie Ghostriders on Sunday evening.
“I don’t think we want to change too many things,” Davidson said about this weekend’s games. “We want to play our game and we want to do it well and we want to execute well.”
The Rockets’ only home game this weekend will be Saturday night against the Rockies.