Rockies rookie Jake Farode battles with a Fernie skater in front of the Rockies net during the first period of the Rockies 7-6 comeback victory on Tuesday

Mixed results for Columbia Valley Rockies

Rockies fall to bottom of KIJHL Eddie Mountain Division standings.

It’s been another up-and-down week for the Rockies as coming off a huge come-from behind victory over Fernie, the Rockies were unable to capitalize on their momentum, and ended up losing their next two games to Spokane and Beaver Valley, respectively.

“(We played) inconsistently,” Rockies head coach Ross Bidinger said. “That would be the best way to generalize it, I guess.”

The Rockies kicked off this past week when they hosted the Fernie Ghostriders on Tuesday, October 23.

Having already lost two fairly lopsided games to the Ghostriders this season, the first period looked to be more of the same for the Rockies as they quickly dug themselves into a 3-0 deficit by the time the frame was up. It would’ve been a perfect opportunity for the Rockies to pack it in and call it a night, but the team decided they had other ideas, and they opened the second period with their first of four powerplay goals on the evening, scored by forward Ryan Henderson.

This would open a veritable floodgate for the Rockies, as five different players would score consecutive goals stretching into the third period, and what was once a 3-0 lead for Fernie became a 5-3 lead for the Rockies. The onslaught seemed to finally wake the high-powered Fernie offence out of their slumber, and they narrowed the gap to one with a third period goal of their own. The teams would trade goals until the final minutes, but every time Fernie drew close the Rockies would again add to the scoresheet, winning by a final score of 7-6 in a thriller. Rockies forward James Price was named first star of the game with a goal and two assists, and leads the team with 17 points in 18 games.

“It was big, we scored a bunch of goals which we’ve had trouble doing, and our powerplay was working really well,” Bidinger said. “It was a good bounce-back, (the team) responded well and competed well.”

The Rockies had a few days of rest before they travelled to Spokane to take on the Braves on Saturday, October 27 and it appears they may have forgotten to take their offence along with them for the trip. The Rockies were shutout 1-0 by the Braves, and despite a stellar performance from goaltender Brody Nelson who stopped 37 shots, were unable to crack Spokane netminder Matt Zenzola, who recorded his first shutout of the season in just his second game played.

“Spokane is a tough place to play no matter what, and it’s very inconsistent reffing, which we knew going in there,” Bidinger said. “We had a lot of penalties in the first period… we killed them off which was good, but it just didn’t seem like we got any momentum going after that.”

Finally, the Rockies closed their week with a visit to Beaver Valley to take on the reigning KIJHL champion Beaver Valley Nitehawks. Beaver Valley played an extremely disciplined game, committing only three penalties, and while the Rockies would be able to score their only goal of the night on the powerplay, it wasn’t enough to overcome the Nitehawks.

Three second period Nitehawks markers would be more than enough cushion for Beaver Valley, and they would come away the victor with a 4-1 win.

“We played well for 50 minutes of the game, and we went to sleep for about ten (minutes),” Bidinger said. “They scored three goals in those 10 minutes.”

The Rockies have now fallen to last place in the Eddie Mountain Division following the week’s results, and sit on 13 points with a 6-11-0-1 record through 18 games, but it’s already a better record than last year after just a month and a half of regular season games. Next up for the Rockies is a visit to Kimberley to take on the division-leading Dynamiters on November 2, before they return home to face the Golden Rockets on Saturday, November 3.

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