Road closures saw the Columbia Valley Rockies’ workload cut in half last weekend. The Kelowna Chiefs were forced to reschedule the game that was supposed to take place on Saturday, November 22nd in Invermere, but the Spokane Braves were good for the game on Friday, November 21st at the Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena.
The Braves were first on the board with an early power play goal, but Sam Young tied the game at one in the final minute of the first period.
Then midway through the second, Young set up Ryan Lawson to give the Rockies their first lead.
But shortly after, Spokane was able to even the score at two, dragging another tie into the next period.
The lead went back to Spokane with an early third period goal, but another Young goal revived the stalemate at three.
Only a minute later, though, another Braves goal gave Spokane another lead, and this time the Rockies weren’t able to counter.
The final score was 4-3 Spokane. Goaltender Brody Nelson made 34 saves.
In the post-game analysis, Mr. Bidinger said the team is not competing hard enough in its defensive zone.
“We’re giving up the netside positioning because they’re not working hard enough and that has to change — it boils down to guys not doing what they’re taught.”
During their free time on Saturday night after Kelowna cancelled, the Rockies underwent a more intense practice than what they’re used to, he said.
The Rockies have a home-and-home next weekend, as they take on the Rockets at the Eddie on Friday, November 28th, and then again the following night in Golden. Both games begin at 7:30 p.m.
“We’re going for four points,” Mr. Bidinger said. “We can beat ‘em, but we have to compete.”
Monday, January 5th looks like a likely date for the rescheduled game against Kelowna, said general manager Ross Bidinger, but both teams will have to look at co-ordinating their schedules.