Rockets forward Riley Barnes drives into the Grand Forks zone during first period action Friday night.

Rockets go 1-1 over weekend

The Rockets snapped their losing streak with a 4-2 home win over Grand Forks but fell a night later to Creston.

Rockets 4, Border Bruins 2

On Friday, the Rockets managed a win against Grand Forks, but it wasn’t in an overly impressive fashion against a club that has struggled all year.

“It wasn’t the result that I’m concerned with, it’s how we played,” said head coach Ty Davidson.

“We have to be playing with good habits, playing our system, executing the proper way. I guess we did it enough to get a win out of it here tonight but I’m not very happy with our performance.”

Playing against a Bruins team that hasn’t won a game since Christmas, the Rockets  got off to a sluggish start in the opening twenty minutes.

“We weren’t ready to go, I could tell in the warm-up,” Davidson said.

Early in the second, the Rockets finally got on the board.

Braeden Allkins broke the scoreless tie with a tip-in goal off a Tanner Watt shot and Jacob Macpherson gave the Rockets a two-goal advantage less than a minute later with Allkins and Watt assisting as part of a newly formed line.

After the game, Davidson said he was mostly pleased with the new trios, which also saw Nick Hoobanoff join Cole Mckechney and Ian Desrosier.

“There might be some changes coming a little bit, some tinkering, but I like our line combinations,” Davidson said.

The Bruins showed they weren’t going to go away easily when they beat Magnus Viberg with just under 6 minutes remaining in the second period.

The mood was tense for the Rockets entering the third –  and it got a whole lot tenser when Coleman Macdonald beat Viberg from over 150 feet. The puck took a strange hop or two on the way to the back of the net for what was clearly a goal the Rockets goaltender would have liked to have back.

However, Spencer Gerth picked up his goalie with a beautiful backhanded finish less than a minute later and the Rockets were back in business and up 3-2.

Viberg shut the door from there and Desrosier potted an empty netter for a 4-2 final.

Rockets 7, Thunder Cats 4

The Rockets outshot the Creston Valley Thunder Cats on Saturday night, but once again it wasn’t enough to get the team a win. The 7-4 defeat gave the Rockets seven losses over their past 10 games.

The turning point came midway through the third period. With the teams locked in a 4-4 tie, Thunder Cats forward Kyle Richter slipped the puck past Daniel Dahlin and broke in alone on Rockets netminder Mark Becica. Richter sniped a picture perfect wrist shot to the top corner and the Thunder Cats had a 5-4 lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.

Nicholas Kovacik added insurance with 97 seconds left in the third and Connor Kidd salted the wound with an empty netter to cap the scoring.

Earlier, Watt, Spencer Gerth, Tanner Wit and Dahlin tallied for the Rockets, who held a third period lead before the visitors scored four unanswered.

The Rockets will close out the regular season with a trio of road games, beginning with a pair of contests in Creston on Friday and Saturday and ending with a Sunday matchup against Kimberley. Golden will open the playoffs against divisional powerhouse Fernie.

Over the weekend, the Rockets officially announced that Davidson would not be returning to coach the team in 2015/16. The Rockets’ long-time bench boss made the decision to resign  after the Christmas break.

“It has nothing to do with the organization. The organization has been fabulous for me. Being here five years it’s time for a change,” he said.

“The other thing is, if I could find a job close to Salmon Arm and be close to my family, that is a huge factor for me.”

Davidson will officially step down at the end of the playoffs.

 

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