The Columbia Valley Rockies returned home this week to continue their scintillating series with the Fernie Ghostriders. The Rockies played the first two games of the playoff series in Fernie, winning one and losing one in overtime.
“We went into the weekend hoping to win at least one of the games against Fernie so coming out with the split is good for us,” general manager Ross Bidinger said.
The first game of the series, which took place on Saturday, February 23rd, saw the Rockies rally back twice in the third to send the game into overtime. Brendan Burge scored with 37 seconds left in the first overtime period, clinching a 5-4 win.
Undisciplined penalties and some inconsistent refereeing played a large part in the heartbreaking 2-1 overtime loss on Sunday, February 24th, Bidinger said, commending his goaltender for keeping his team in the game right to the very end.
“We were lucky to get the shorthanded goal at the end of the third to send the game to overtime. We just have to get the players to understand that they have to keep their emotions in check and play a more disciplined style of hockey,” added Bidinger.
Goaltender Stewart Pratt faced 46 shots in the game, earning him the second star nomination, and Ryan Henderson scored the only Rockies goal in the dying seconds of the third period.
The Rockies now play the next two games at home, one on Tuesday, February 26th and another on Thursday, February 28th. Both teams will battle at least once more in Fernie, on Friday, March 1st, and could potentially play another home game on Saturday, March 2nd if needed. Game seven, if the series remains tied, will take place on Sunday, March 3rd in Fernie.
“Playing at home will be a big boost for us. It means we have last change so we can get some matchups that are favourable to our team and the fans always help keep our energy levels up,” Bidinger said. “We need to just keep to the game plan and stay
disciplined on the ice.”