It was a disappointing weekend for the Rockets, who were coming off a three game stretch that saw the club accumulate five out of a possible six points heading into this week’s action. The modest hot streak is firmly in their rearview mirror now, however, after they lost three games in three nights on the road to a pair of top teams.
The weekend started off on a positive note when Braeden Allkins broke the ice against the Creston Valley Thunder Cats with a second period goal from Cole Mckechney. It was all downhill from there, however, as the Cats stormed ahead with six unanswered goals to go up 6-1. Bowen Alcock scored for the Rockets with just 25 seconds left making the score a bit more respectable for the visitors.
Next up for the Rockets was a date with the Nelson Leafs, owners of a sparkling 24-4-1-3 record, good enough for second place in the entire KIJHL. The task at hand for the Rockets was enormous, and it showed early as the Leafs jumped out to a 3-0 lead by the time the game was 35 minutes old. Matt McMath gave the Rockets some life with a power play marker towards the end of the second, but Jamie Vlanich scored his third of the game to put an end to any hopes of a third period comeback. Vlanich added his fourth in the third period, capping off the 5-1 win for the Leafs. With the four goals, Vlanich, who also added an assist in the game, is now the fourth highest scorer in the league with 56 points in just 25 games. His linemate Travis Wellman had four assists of his own, giving him 59 points in 34 games, good enough for second in the league.
It was back to Creston on Sunday for the Rockets’ final game of their weekend road trip. A tired Rockets squad allowed the Thunder Cats to get off to a quick 2-0 lead. The Rockets didn’t let the game get out of hand, and Ian Desrosier gave Golden some momentum heading into the second when he scored with just nine seconds left in the opening frame. There was no scoring in the second until Allkins lit the lamp with just 2:42 left to tie the game at 2 heading into the third. The goal was Allkins’ fifth marker in his past six games.
The Thunder Cats went up again in the third when Justin Post missed the iron and instead found the back of the net. Jacob Coehlo quickly responded for the Rockets with his second goal of the season, but that’s when Creston Valley took over for good. The Cats scored three goals in the span of two and a half minutes to sink the Rockets’ ship for good and send them home with zero points to show for their efforts over the weekend. The final score was 6-3.
Despite the losses, there was some good news for the Rockets. The Columbia Valley Rockies also lost to the Thunder Cats on Saturday night, giving them six straight losses and still without a win in December. The Rockies are currently holding down the final playoff spot in the Eddie Mountain Division and sit just five points clear of last place Golden.
The Rockets have two games left before their holiday break. They’ll battle the Kimberley Dynamiters at home on Friday night, before making the trip to Kimberley on Saturday to complete the home and home.