A pair of buzzer-beating goals allowed the Rockets to grab three of a possible four points over the weekend despite not putting together a complete, 60 minute effort in either game.
The Nelson Leafs were in town Friday night and for a while it looked like it would be write-off for the home team.
After a scoreless first, Rayce Miller and Robson Cramer beat Rockets netminder Mark Becica with a pair of goals just a minute and a half apart. Aaron Dunlap added another early in the third and the Rockets’ backs were officially up against a wall.
And then, the comeback.
With 7:55 left in the third, James Gaume finally got the Rockets on the board to put them down 3-1. The goal was exactly what the club needed.
“Scoring that goal seemed to lift us up. I was almost resigned to the fact that we were going to come out losers in that, but that goal seemed to lift us enough,” Davidson later said of Gaume’s tally.
With Becica pulled for an extra attacker, Cole Mckechney brought the Rockets to within one with just under 90 seconds remaining. That set up a clutch tying goal from Matthew Krusky in the game’s dying moments, and the clubs were off to OT.
After a scoreless five minute 4 on 4 period, Braeden Allkins and Nic Noseworthy broke into the Leafs’ zone during 3 on 3 action. While the KIJHL’s website credited Noseworthy with the winner, it was actually Allkins who buried it to give Golden a 4-3 win and leave the 171 in attendance in a celebratory mood as they left the Plywood Palace.
It was a somewhat different plot that got the Rockets to OT the following night against the Creston Valley Thunder Cats.
The Rockets got behind early again, with netminder Magnus Viberg surrendering the opening goal less than seven minutes into the first, but this time the Rockets played well in the second to get themselves in front.
Allkins scored an unassisted shorthanded goal early in the frame and Spencer Gerth added another 10 minutes later to put the home team up by a goal heading into the final 20.
Connor Ward and Lien Miller-Jeannotte scored two and a half minutes apart in the third to put the Rockets behind by a goal late in the period, but there were some more heroics for Golden before this one was through.
As the clock wound down, Noseworthy brought the puck into the Cats’ zone and fired a slapshot that beat opposing goalie Brock Lefevbre on the far side for another late tying goal for Davidson’s club.
The 4 on 4 portion of OT solved nothing again, and this time 3 on 3 play resulted in a Rockets loss after Tyler Podgorenko gave his side the extra point with just 2:52 remaining in the game.
Despite the OT set back, it was another weekend of solid play from the Rockets, who continue to comfortably hold down second place in the Eddie Mountain Division. The team hasn’t let up of late, despite the potential for a pre-holiday lapse.
“This is a tough time of year to keep guys motivated,” Davidson said. “With the Christmas breaking coming upon us, a lot of times teams go home early and that’s usually a challenge for coaches, especially with this age group with a lot of guys away from home for the first time.”
“I give our guys credit because we’re still hanging around.”
The Rockets have four games left before breaking for the holidays, starting with a home matchup against the Castlegar Rebels on Friday.