Home cooking helped the Rockets on their way to their first win of 2015, a 6-4 penalty-filled affair against the Princeton Posse.
The Rockets, who have dropped just two games at home since the start of November, got off to a poor start and found themselves behind by a goal after barely a minute had ticked off the clock when Kurtis Klinger beat starter Magnus Viberg.
Mckechney answered that with a shorthanded goal less than two minutes later to knot things at one. It was a sign of things to come, as Princeton would hold four separate one-goal leads throughout, with the Rockets answering each with the tying goal.
Minutes later, Kyle Bergh notched the second for the visitors. Surprisingly, that was it for Viberg as the Rockets netminder received a quick hook from head coach Ty Davidson in favour of Mark Becica.
“They scored two quick goals and I didn’t think (Viberg) looked comfortable on even the saves he was making. He just didn’t look there tonight for whatever reason,” Davidson said when asked why he made the change.
Brennan Fuoco tied it up with the first less than half over thanks to a precise point shot. That was how the teams went to the dressing room after twenty minutes.
Just as in the first, the teams traded goals in the second, with Thomas Cankovic and Connor Sloan scoring the goals for the Posse and Nic Noseworthy and Ian Desrosier tallying the responses for Golden.
The Desrosier marker was the obvious choice for goal of the night. Mckechney found Fuoco with a dazzling cross-ice saucer pass before Fuoco tee’d one up for the Rockets’ leading goal scorer in the slot.
Early in the third the Rockets grabbed their first lead of the game when Alex Astasiewicz walked the line and ripped home a slapshot less than three minutes into the period.
From there it was far from easy, but the Rockets held on despite a barrage of penalties that included a lengthy 5 on 3 disadvantage.
Davidson declined to offer his opinions on the officiating, but was visibly upset on the Rockets’ bench on multiple occasions after his club took penalties.
However, one of the Rockets’ biggest strengths all season has been their penalty kill, and despite allowing a rare opposition powerplay goal, this was another mighty effort on that front.
“Our penalty killing has really been a shining light all season long for us,” Davidson said, while noting that his team had given up just that one powerplay goal across its last five contests.
Nick Hoobanoff added a sixth goal for Golden to put a cap on the scoring.
It was a much needed two points for Golden after a sluggish start to 2015 that saw the club drop a pair of games last weekend. The level of intensity will be ramped up even further Saturday night when the Kimberley Dynamiters come to town. Kimberley impressively took out Fernie on Friday night and sit just a single point clear of both the Rockets and the Creston Valley Thunder Cats, who were also winners.
Puck drop is at 7:30. Tune into our Twitter feed (@goldenstarnews) for live updates.