It’s been a brutally difficult season for the Golden Rockets, but for one night on Saturday, they were able to celebrate a massive win over ex-coach Ty Davidson and the Sicamous Eagles.
Golden trailed 5-2 with under seven minutes to play in the third and appeared to be headed for another disappointing home effort in a season that’s given them little cause for celebration.
That’s when Carter Vouri managed to give the team a bit of hope when he notched his first goal of the season.
Still, it appeared to be a lost cause until the Eagles got into some penalty trouble and the Rockets’ suddenly impressive power play got to work.
With Eagles defenceman Nicholas Cuglietta in the box for roughing and Rockets netminder Brody Nelson on the bench to give Golden a two-man advantage, hometown rookie Jake Gudjonson scored his sixth goal of the season with 54 seconds on the clock to cut the Eagles’ lead to just a single goal.
Cuglietta was penalized again with 30 seconds left, giving the Rockets the opportunity they needed to send the 127 fans at the Plywood Palace into a frenzy.
Kyle Rosolowski was the hero this time, tying the game with just 17 seconds on the clock, it was a second power play goal for Golden on a night where their attack with the man advantage looked infinitely better than it has through much of the season.
“It’s been a focus that we’ve had week after week. Every Thursday we try and do nothing but power play time,” said head coach Jason Stephens.
With all of the momentum on their side, a Rockets OT win seemed inevitable and Rosolowski wasted little time, giving Golden the win with under a minute gone in the extra period. It was the Rockets’ third goal in a two minute span.
“We still have 30 minutes of that game that we should have played better, but the boys responded in the third and they played really well…fortunately for us Sicamous took a couple of untimely penalties,” Stephens said.
“To win in overtime like that is huge for our boys, especially at home.”
Head coach Jason Stephens says his club had a great week of practice, but it certainly didn’t show early on. Goals from Ian Jarvis, Tyler Collens and Cameron Flinton spotted the Eagles a 3-0 lead before the opening frame was even half over. Stephens called a timeout and appeared to read the riot act to his club in what was easily the typically mellow head coach’s most animated moment behind the Rockets’ bench this season.
“Even in the room before the game, all the energy felt right…and they came out and there was just nothing there. It was like they didn’t even show up. I felt they needed a bit of a kick in the pants to get them going,” he said.
The timeout seemed to work, as the Rockets responded with a goal late in the first from Mathew Thiessen and another early in the second from Andrew Dunn.
The Eagles bounced back a few minutes later when former Rocket Alex Astasiewicz completed a beautiful stretch pass to William Mizuik, who went in alone and beat netminder Brock Nelson.
The play looked to be offside, at least from the Rockets’ vantage point, but it held nonetheless.
The Eagles added a power play goal with just under nine minutes to go in the third to set up the Rockets’ late game heroics.
Davidson says it was a strange feeling to be coaching at the Golden Arena as a member of the opposition.
“I have a lot of fond memories here. It was fun coming back. Too bad we didn’t get the win but we gave the fans a really good game,” he said.
The Rockets failed to build on Friday’s win and were blanked 3-0 by the Creston Valley Thunder Cats on Saturday. Golden remains a very distant fifth in the difficult Eddie Mountain Division.