Alex Astasiewicz officially has a flair for the dramatic.
The 16 year-old rookie defenceman has four goals in his KIJHL career, and two of them have come in sudden death overtime, including the winning goal in the Rockets’ 3-2 victory over the Columbia Valley Rockies Saturday night.
The winner came at the end of a wild affair that included a Rockets parade to the penalty box through much of the second and third periods and a scary moment involving Rockies defenceman Ryan St. Jean.
Towards the end of the second period, St. Jean was hit into the boards by Rockets forward Spencer Gerth. St. Jean lay on the ice, got to his knees briefly, and then lay flat on his stomach, apparently told not to get up by the trainers. He was eventually taken off on a stretcher, but he did say he was alright while being taken to a waiting ambulance. The hospital trip was believed to be for precautionary reasons.
Gerth received a 5 minute boarding penalty and a game misconduct on the play.
The long delay came with the Rockets up 1-0 thanks to a Zack Finlay goal just eight seconds into the game.
“You just do your best, you say a few things,” Davidson said about keeping his team focused during the unexpected delay. “I thought we came out after the break and played pretty well.”
That solid play turned into another opportunity for Finlay.
With the Rockets still down a man, Nic Noseworthy and Cole Mckechney completed a pair of one-time passes to leave Finlay with a tap-in at the side of the net. The goal gave Finlay four goals in as many games.
The Rockies responded quickly, finally solving Rockets netminder Mark Becica with just over a minute remaining in the second period.
Golden continued to take penalties in the third, with the pre-Christmas crowd bemoaning several of the calls. The stellar PK unit finally broke with just over six minutes remaining in regulation.
“When you have to kill that many penalties all game long…at some point they’re going to bang in something,” said Davidson. “At some point you’re going to mistake and not be where you’re supposed to be.”
The final minutes of regulation solved nothing, setting up Astasiewicz’s heroics in OT. His winner came just over a minute into the first overtime period.
“I just kind of walked the blue line and put kind of a knuckle ball on net and I guess it went through his glove and went in. It was unexpected,” Astasiewicz said.
The win sends the Rockets into the Christmas break on a winning note after they fell to the Rockies the night before in Invermere.
Golden will be off until Jan 2, when they’ll take on the Spokane Braves. Their next home date is on Jan. 9 against the Princeton Posse.