The Columbia Valley Rockies capped off a weekend slate of games with a much-needed win over the Grand Forks Border Bruins, snapping a five-game losing streak in the process.
Coming off back-to-back shutout losses to the Creston Valley Thunder Cats and the Golden Rockets the week before, the Rockies travelled to Princeton & District Arena on Friday (October 5) to take on the second-place team in the Okanagan Division, the Princeton Posse. While the Rockies outshot the Posse 46 to 28, including a 17 to three shot margin in the third period, the Rockies were once again snakebitten as they just couldn’t score a goal, and fell by a score of 6-0. Princeton forward Kurtis Bond scored a hat-trick on the night as the Posse handed the Rockies their third consecutive shutout loss. At the time, the Rockies hadn’t scored a goal since Sunday, September 23 against the Penticton Lakers, a stretch of over 184 minutes of hockey.
Next up for the Rockies was a game against the high-powered Osoyoos Coyotes on Saturday (October 6). While the Rockies were able to break their aforementioned scoring slump with a first-period tally from Racey Red Crow to temporarily give them the lead, Osoyoos would go on to score four unanswered goals as they doubled up the Rockies 6-3. The Rockies had nine different players record a point on the night, and in net Stewart Pratt made 53 saves, but it just wasn’t enough as the Rockies were outshot 59 to 34.
With the win, the Coyotes solidified their spot atop their division and moved into sole possession of first place in the KIJHL standings with eight wins and one loss, good for 16 points overall. With the loss, the Rockies dropped their fifth game overall and, at the time, were still searching for their first win under interim head coach Ross
The Rockies had a fantastic opportunity to get that first win for their coach when they visited the cellar-dwelling Grand Forks Border Bruins on Sunday (October 7). The Bruins, who after a logic-defying 3-2 overtime win over KIJHL defending champion Beaver Valley Nitehawks in their first game off the season, have reverted to their old ways that saw them finish last in the KIJHL last season, when they managed only one win (although it was against the Columbia Valley Rockies). The Bruins had lost eight straight games coming into their meeting with the Rockies, and not to buck the trend, lost by a score of 4-1 as the Rockies snapped their five-game losing streak.
Rockies import rookie James Price continued his hot start with two powerplay goals and an assist, and Stephen Pratt and Damon Raven also added markers of their own. Goaltender Brody Nelson only faced 18 shots on the night while the Rockies piled up 54 on the hapless Bruins. Bidinger could not be reached for comment regarding the Rockies games this past week.
With the win, the Rockies moved back into third place in the Eddie Mountain Division, with four wins, six losses and one overtime loss. They play the Fernie Ghostriders in Fernie on Friday (October 12) before finally returning home on Saturday (October 13) to host those very same Ghostriders.