After the longest road trip of the season so far, and three games in less than 72 hours, the Golden Rockets return home with four points.
Forward Lane Erickson earned the Rockets’ first hattrick of the season in a 9-1 crushing of the Chase Heat, an accomplishment that also landed him a featured spot on the KIJHL website’s “Who’s hot in the KI” section.
“He had a big night. Every time he touched the puck something good happened,” said Head Coach Ty Davidson.
Erickson, with his four points (three goals and one assist), was not the only Rocket to have a big night. Brandon Shirley, Justin Fulton, and Captain Darren Andre added three points a piece to their season totals. And despite taking six penalties, the team was 100 per cent on the penalty kill for the night.
A little further down the Trans Canada Highway, the boys ran into a bit of trouble the following night in Kamloops against the Storm.
“We had a really solid game, and were in full control until about 35 minutes in when they scored a goal. We fell apart a bit after that,” said Davidson.
The Storm scored three unanswered goals in the second, and three more in the third for a 6-0 win, placing them in the top spot in the league with a record of 12-1-0-2.
Sunday afternoon the Rockets were in Armstrong to take on the North Okanagan Knights, a team that beat them in double overtime at their first meeting of the season just four weeks earlier.
The Knights took the lead early on with a power play goal, but Golden answered back later in the first with the tying goal from Carson George. The Rockets jumped ahead in the second with two unanswered goals, the first from Keith Wake, unassisted, and the second, a power play goal by Justin Fulton.
The Knights fought back in the third, scoring a second goal. But it wasn’t enough, and the Rockets walked away with a 3-2 victory.
“We cleaned up our play a bit, our execution was a bit better, and I think our will was stronger,” said Davidson, explaining the improvements made during this road trip’s play.
“They had three very strong games.”
The two wins this week bumped the Rockets into third place in the Eddie Mountain Division with a record of 6-6-0-1.
The next two games are at home, against the Sicamous Eagles on Friday Oct. 28, and the Castlegar Rebels on Saturday Oct. 29, both at 7:30 p.m.
“For some reason we’ve been playing a little bit better on the road this season,” said Davidson. “Hopefully we can bring a similar effort home, and get a couple wins on home ice this weekend.”