Following a disheartening loss to the then-winless Chase Heat on Friday, November 4, the Columbia Valley Rockies showed marked signs of improvement in a pair of losses to top-ranked teams in following days.
The Rockies, who spent the weekend on the road, visited the overall first place team in the Kamloops Storm the following night, November 5, and battled back from several large deficits to be narrowly defeated 8-6 in an offensive showdown.
The two teams combined for 84 shots in a game that saw the Rockies score three power play goals on six opportunities.
Unfortunately, the Rockies also gave up three short-handed goals, essentially nullifying the good work done on the power play.
The Rockies’ six-goal outburst was more than they had scored in the previous five games combined, as four Rockies players came away with multiple points for the night.
Rockies defenceman Kenneth Whitford had two goals, forward Damon Raven had three assists, forward Jayson Cannell had two goals and an assist and new forward Joe Colborne made his presence felt with a goal and four points overall in just his second game with the club.
When asked what he attributed the fine offensive showing to, Rockies head coach Marc Ward had a simple answer.
“Hard work,” Ward said. “We’re sticking to our system—it’s a simple system, but the guys are playing with a lot of confidence right now.”
The Rockies then visited the Doug Birks Division second place team, the North Okanagan Knights for their third game in three nights November 6.
Despite losing by a score of 5-3, Ward was encouraged by what he saw out of his team.
“The scores are a lot better, and the games are a lot closer,” he said. “Our hard work is really starting to pay off.”
Forward Joe Colborne continued his red-hot start, notching a goal and an assist to give him seven points in three games with the Rockies.
Up next for the Rockies is a game against old foe the Creston Valley Thunder Cats on November 10. The Rockies don’t play again at home until November 18 against the Golden Rockets. They’ll follow that up with a game against Fernie on the 19.