On a night where offensive chances were few and far between, the Columbia Valley Rockies played a tight defensive game en-route to a 5-0 loss to the Kimberley Dynamiters Saturday, December 3.
The Rockies benefited from strong play from goaltender Bruce Corrigal and an excellent penalty kill that allowed no powerplay goals in five opportunities for the Dynamiters, but on offence the Rockies were stifled for much of the game despite managing 21 shots.
“We had our chances, but it was just one of those nights,” coach Marc Ward said. “We would either hit a crossbar, or hit a leg in front… we just didn’t have it tonight.”
The game opened with some strong pressure from the Dynamiters, and they quickly took the lead about three minutes in on forward Jordan Bartusek’s first of two goals on the evening. From there the Rockies seemed to settle down, and thanks to strong goaltending and firm defensive play picked up some momentum and got some good chances towards the end of the period to enter the intermission trailing 1-0.
The Rockies opened the second similarly, as the Dynamiters began pouring on the shots, but Corrigal stayed solid to keep the game close. However, under such sustained pressure the Dynamiters were bound to score again, and did just that with about seven minutes gone in the period. The Dynamiters only seemed to pick up steam from there on in, putting two more goals home in the period while outshooting the Rockies 20-8.
“We make a lot of little mistakes, and we seem to make the same mistakes that are costing us,” Ward said. “I thought we played with a lot more courage tonight—guys were taking hits and giving hits, and I thought we did much better in the physical department.”
The third period saw the Rockies still playing good defensive hockey, but the Dynamiters were getting the better chances. Corrigal continued to have an outstanding game in net, making key saves, but the lack of offence sunk the Rockies, as they were unable to capitalize on three powerplay opportunities in the frame. The Dynamiters put one more goal home late, but the game had already been decided long before, and the Rockies lost 5-0.
“I thought we played pretty well tonight, they’re a good hockey team,” Ward said. “We just have to focus on limiting our mistakes, and continuing to get better. We just want to continue to play better and tonight was a step in the right direction.”
The Rockies played the Creston Valley Thunder Cats December 6 (results were not available at press time), and follow that up with a visit to Golden on December 9, before hosting the Dynamiters again on December 10.