The Golden Rockets got back on the horse after a blowout loss to Kimberley last week with a dominant victory of their own last night, a 9-0 shellacking of the Grand Forks Border Bruins. The win officially clinches a playoff spot for Golden a year after the team finished in last place in the Eddie Mountain division and narrowly missed the playoffs in the season’s final weekend.
Granted, the 7-29-1 Bruins are a significant step down in competition from the Dynamiters.
Still, head coach Ty Davidson was pleased with the team’s response from last week’s debacle.
“We played very well. For a change we didn’t take a team that’s down in the standings for granted. We actually came out and played pretty close to our ‘A’ game,” Davidson said.
The Rockets have struggled with first periods at times this year but that wasn’t the case against Grand Forks.
Riley Barnes drew first blood for Golden with his first career KIJHL goal less than four minutes into the game and Ian Desrosier extended the Rockets’ lead a couple minutes later with his first of what turned out to be a four goal night. Braeden Allkins scored with just over 5 minutes left in the period and the rout was on.
Another two goals from Desrosier in the second period left the Rockets feeling very comfortable heading into the final frame, but the Rockets weren’t about to get complacent with the 5-0 lead.
“Even between periods when we were up by considerable amounts it was more of a business-like attitude in and around the dressing room last night and I think that’s why we came out with such a resounding victory,” Davidson said.
Desrosier tallied his final goal of the game just over two minutes in and Allkins, Cole Mckechney and Zack Finlay completed the scoring for Golden to give the team a season-high nine goals in the game.
Mark Becica stopped all 27 shots he faced for the shutout.
Magnus Viberg will get the start tonight in Creston against the Thunder Cats as Davidson continues to give both goalies an ample amount of playing time. That should change in the playoffs, however, as the Rockets coach admits the job will likely fall to one guy. Davidson hinted that Becica might have a slim advantage up until this point, but that it could change quickly.
The last week also saw a couple of big roster moves for the Rockets.
James Gaume, who played an excellent all around game for Golden on the team’s third line, was called up to the AJHL’s Olds Grizzlies for the remainder of the season. However, that loss was quickly filled by a returning Jacob Macpherson, who had a pair of assists against Grand Forks while fitting in nicely on a line with Allkins and Nick Hoobanoff. Macpherson had 28 points in 46 games a year ago and brings added size and experience to the Rockets’ top six.
“He’s got some rust and it’s going to take him probably a couple weeks to get fully into the swing of things. For his first game back, he looked really good last night,” Davidson said.
Matthew Krusky was moved down to the Rockets’ third line and will play on the wing beside Finlay and Spencer Gerth.
The Thunder Cats are coming off a dismal 8-2 loss to the Fernie Ghostriders and Davidson hopes his team can use that to their advantage tonight by getting off to a quick start and frustrating their opponents early.