It was a weekend of mixed results for Golden as the Rockets cruised to a 5-1 win over the Castlegar Rebels on Friday before falling to division rival Kimberley the following night by the same score.
Golden 5, Castlegar 1
Golden Rockets head coach Ty Davidson has been looking for more secondary scoring from his second place club for most of the year. Friday night he got just that, and in spades.
Zack Finlay fired home a pair while line mates James Gaume and Spencer Gerth had 3 and 2 point nights, respectively, as the Rockets rolled to a 5-1 win over the visiting Castlegar Rebels.
“Our best line tonight was definitely the Finlay line, they were fantastic…they were really working hard and it paid off for them tonight,” Davidson said.
After Rebels forward Dylan Ofner opened the scoring less than 90 seconds into the game, it was all Golden.
Finlay had the exceptionally quick response less than a minute later.
“Gaume was just crashing the net with the puck and the puck came out and I just banged it in under the (goalie’s) arm,” Finlay recalled.
Not to be outdone, the Rockets’ top line added two of their own before the end of the first. Ian Desrosier was the goal scorer on both, scoring one with 9 minutes remaining and adding another late in the period of the back-breaking shorthanded variety. The shorty came after a beautiful play by Cole Mckechney to create space for the rushing duo. Mckechney threw it in front and it either bounced off Desrosier or Rebel goaltender Patrick Zubick and into the net. Either way, Desrosier got the credit for yet another goal while a man down.
Gaume’s goal came on an excellent feed from Finlay midway through the second period, with Gerth also getting credit for an assist.
Finlay completed the scoring late in the third after some terrific puck movement from Gaume and Travis Kelley, who moved to defence with regulars Alex Astasiewicz and Sean Ripley out because of illness.
Finlay has spent much of the year between Braeden Allkins and Nick Hoobanoff, but has really clicked with Gaume and Gerth of late.
“The three of us worked really hard all game and we’re finally getting bounces going our way and generating some offence and putting the puck in the net which is pretty positive,” Finlay said.
Magnus Viberg got the nod in net for Golden, and was terrific when he had to be while allowing just the single, early goal.
Golden 1, Kimberley 5
Mark Becica was in net the following night, but it turned out to be a forgettable game for the Rockets as the Kimberley Dynamiters took it to them in a 5-1 defeat. The loss continues a difficult stretch for Golden in Kimberley, as the club has yet to win on the road against the Nitros, giving up at least 5 goals in each loss.
Tanner Watt had the lone goal for the Rockets early in the second period to tie the game up following Keenan Haase’s opener for Kimberley. It was all Nitros after that, however, as top scorer Jason Richter poured in a pair and Braden Saretsky and Coy Prevost added goals of their own. Becica made 20 saves in the defeat while opposing netminder stopped 27 of the 28 Rocket shots that he faced.
The Rockets now sit at 41 points through 35 games, with the Creston Valley Thunder Cats and the Dynamiters each sitting five points back. However, the Rockets have played more games than all of their division rivals.
Golden will close out their pre-Christmas schedule with a home and home series against the struggling Columbia Valley Rockies who have yet to win a game in December.