The Rockies came away with one win this past weekend after three games in as many consecutive nights.
While facing the Revelstoke Grizzlies on Friday, November 15th, Columbia Valley fell behind midway through the first when Kyler Wilkinson beat Rockies goalie Conrad MacMillan on the power play, followed by an assist then another goal before the end of the period, giving Revelstoke a 3–0 lead.
MacMillan was replaced after the first period with Brody Nelson, but the Grizzlies were able to run away with the game in the second, notching two more goals on the scoreboard.
“Sometimes, when you make mistakes, your opponents really make you pay for it,” said head coach Wade Dubielewicz.
The humiliation of a shutout was averted by defenceman Mitch Rosko, who gave the Rockies a point with help from Racey Big Snake and Logan Kerner. But with two minutes remaining in the game, Revelstoke padded their lead with another goal, and won the game with a score of 6–1.
The Rockies came home on Saturday, November 16th for a matchup against the division-leading Creston Valley Thunder Cats.
After five minutes of play, Creston scored on the power play to take the first lead of the game. Minutes later, Columbia Valley tied the game with a goal from Peter Matthews and assists from Bradly Palumbo and Dustin Boone.
Creston regained their lead shortly after, only to have the Rockies score and tie it at two, on a goal from Ryan Henderson with help from Shane Doherty and Matthew Houston. Again, the Thunder Cats scored to take the lead back, only to have the Rockies tie it back up, as Henderson scored again with help from Big Snake.
Following five minutes of play in the second period, Creston managed to take the lead for the fourth time in the game by scoring a shorthanded goal.
After four rounds of scoring back-and-forth, the Rockies took the lead, as Houston and Ryan Lawson both scored with help from Mitchell Rosko, Adam Pulliam, and Tyson Kapty, pulling the Rockies ahead to 5 – 4.
Houston and Doherty then set up Henderson to score, which gave Columbia Valley a two-goal lead, as well as a hat-trick for Number 17 after 32 minutes of play.
But the Thunder Cats roared back, scoring five unanswered goals during the remainder of the game to win it with a score of 9 – 6.
“Creston’s a high-powered team,” said Coach Dubielewicz. “If you take two or three minutes off, it could translate into two or three goals against.”
After two rough nights of hockey, the Rockies still had a chance to snap their losing streak as the Spokane Braves were in town for an afternoon match on Sunday, November 17th.
The Braves were first on the scoreboard, netting the only goal of the opening period.
Spokane’s lead was undisturbed until late in the second, when Henderson was set up to score by Doherty. Minutes later on the power play, Henderson out the puck in the net yet again – this time with help from Houston and Poulliam. The Rockies were able to take the 2 – 1 lead into the final period.
Five minutes into the third, the Braves tied the score with a goal from Jonny Marzec. The game was only tied until halfway through the period, when Palumbo beat the Braves goalie, with assists from Henderson and Doherty. Less than a minute later, Nigel Swag scored an insurance goal for Columbia Valley with a focused wrist-shot from the point. The Rockies finished the game with a score of 4 – 2.
“Our game plan was to cycle the puck and wear them down and that’s what happened,” said Coach Dubielewicz. “We wore them down in the first half and capitalized in the second half when they were tired.”
Conrad MacMillan blocked 41 of 43 shots fired by Spokane; and, after giving up four power play goals on ten opportunities between Friday and Saturday, the Rockies were able to shut down all of Spokane’s 13 man-advantages on Sunday.
“We took steps in the right direction, but the score didn’t reflect it,” Coach Dubielewicz said. “I’m not overly disappointed, and we were able to squeak out a win on Sunday which was a big two pointvs for us.”
The Rockies play again on Friday, November 22nd when they head to Fruitvale for a game against the Beaver Valley Nighthawks. They return home the following night for a Saturday night match against Kimberley. Both games begin at 7:30 p.m.