KIJHL: Winless weekend for Rockies

The Rockies remain pointless in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL).

The Rockies remain pointless in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) after dropping their first three games of the season.

After a losing to Fernie during the season-opener last week, Columbia Valley was looking for their first win on Friday, September 19th, when the Osoyoos Coyotes were at the Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena.

Less than four minutes into the games, a goal by Ryan St. Jean, assisted by Kyle Becker, put the Rockies on the board first. But less than a minute later, the first of four unanswered Coyote goals found the home team in a big hole.

Doan Smith, Sam Young, and Carter Melnyk all scored for the Rockies in the second period, but subsequent scoring by Osoyoos kept the lead out of reach.

Two more Coyote goals in the third period left Columbia Valley defeated by a score of 8-4. Osoyoos has now won all four of its games so far this season.

The club travelled south to Kimberley on Saturday, September 20th for their first road game of the season.

As the first period was drawing to a close, three Dynamiter goals put the Rockies at steep deficit. But in the final 60 seconds of the opening period, they crawled back within one, when Sam Young and Kolten Nelson both scored with help from Carter Melnyk and Matthew Bruyer, respectively.

The middle period was dominated by Kimberley, who grew their lead to five with two goals.

Another Dynamiter goal in the third put the Rockies down by four. Captain Doan Smith scored to give his team one more, but it was too little, too late – the final score was 6-3.

Goaltender Talon Walton saved 51 of 62 shots, and Brody Nelson, while filling in for 36 minutes on Saturday, blocked 18 of 21 shots faced.

Newcomer Sam Young has scored a goal in each of the three games he’s played with the Rockies so far this season — “a great physical player,” general manager Ross Bidinger said of Young.

Young also has two assists, which both came after helping out the team captain, Doan Smith.

“[Smith]’s one of the more veteran guys on the team and he competes hard on the ice,” Mr. Bidinger said.

The Rockies are at home both nights this weekend, with the Fernie Ghostriders in town on Friday, September 26th. The following night, Saturday, September 27th, the Beaver Valley Nitehawks will be taking on Columbia Valley. Both games start at 7:30 p.m.


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