Despite a few surprises along the way, the Golden Rockets had a very successful Family Weekend with two victories over the Columbia Valley Rockies.
“It’s such a great weekend. I love it. It’s such a different atmosphere,” said Rockets Captain Darren Andre, whose family came up from Lethbridge for the occasion. “Everyone is on cloud nine for a couple days.”
It started off in Invermere on Friday night, where the boys were treated to some cheering on the road as a bus from Golden carrying fans, family and friends joined them for the game.
“We did a fan bus to Invermere, and that was highly successful,” said Rockets President Curt Thorne. “The team won, which is nice, and we had a ton of fun.”
The game was tied after the first period, with goals from Golden’s Kyle Garcia, and Columbia Valley’s Orri Haman. Three unanswered goals in the second from Brandon Shirley, Carson George and Keith Wake gave the Rockets a strong lead as they headed into the final frame.
The Rockies pushed back with a goal halfway through the period from Todd Sykes, but a final goal from Golden’s Kolten Krchnak sealed their fate, and the Rockets went home with a 5-2 win.
Family Weekend continued on Saturday with a silent auction, and what was supposed to be a pre-game banquet at the Canyon’s Edge Restaurant. But a broken down bus carrying the Creston Valley Thundercats meant a cancelled game.
“We had our plans nipped in the bud a bit here,” said Thorne. “I think tonight parents are going to spend some time with their kids,”
“We’re actually blessed with having our families here tonight, so I think we’re going to split up and spend some time with them,” said Andre.
The silent auction, which had items donated by the families, was extended until Sunday’s game. And the traditional player auction, where people can bid on individual players for three hours of their time, has been postponed until later in the season.
“Every player has a separate bid going on them, and you get rented off for a few hours. Most of them end up doing chores for someone,” said Andre. “Gino (Polumbo) always buys up a few and saves them. And they get to go play video games with Gino, that’s what he buys them for. It’s all fun.”
The hockey continued on Sunday afternoon with a rematch against the Rockies. The game started off with some excitement with a fight between Golden’s Marc Lepine and Columbia Valley’s Joe Colborne three seconds in.
There was no scoring in the first 14 minutes of play, but then a goal from Shirley opened the flood gates. There were two more in the first from Connor Beauchemin and Lyndon McBryan with his first of the season.
The beating continued in the second with three more goals from Lane Erickson, George, and Garcia, bringing the score to 6-1 by the second intermission. Even though they had a comfortable lead, the Rockets were determined to keep scoring, thanks in part to some extra incentive provided by Thorne.
“Curt gave the guys a little bit of incentive this weekend, He said if we got nine goals in one game he would treat everybody to a steak dinner,” said Head Coach Ty Davidson.
You could hear the chant “we want steak” in the arena during the third period as the points kept going up. Goals from Wake, George, and two more from Garcia (giving him three goals and five points on the night), in the third accomplished their goal.
The game ended with a 10-2 score, and a substantial dent in Thorne’s wallet.
“Obviously whenever you win by resounding score it’s always positive,” said Davidson. “There were some little things we did today in our own end, and taking care of the puck, that we’ve been preaching here the last couple weeks, and not necessarily getting it done every night, but tonight we did. It was a very positive win.”
There is no word yet as to when the cancelled game against Creston Valley will be made up. The Rockets play at home on Friday Nov. 25 against the Beaver Valley Nitehawks at 7:30, and again on Sunday Nov. 27 against the Grand Forks Border Bruins at 1 p.m.