Undefeated in three, the Columbia Valley Rockies came from behind to earn two wins, but blew a lead and settled with a tie – all within the past week.
Last Wednesday (September 18th) in Golden, penalties cost Columbia Valley. The Rockets took a 3-0 lead with the help of two man-advantages against the Rockies as the end of the first period drew to a close. Ryan Henderson, however, managed to get the Rockies on the scoreboard before the first intermission with a late-period goal.
Golden saw its lead chipped away during the second period as Kleysen Roberge scored his first of the night.
Halfway through the third, Roberge scored again to tie up the game at three apiece. With 3:20 to go in the third, Dustin Kostiuk buried the puck to give the Rockies the go-ahead goal, which they held onto for the remainder of regulation, claiming their first regular season win. The Rockies then spent the weekend at home, where they hosted the Kimberley Dynamiters on Friday (September 20th) night.
Kyle Pouncy opened the scoring for Columbia Valley with a shorthanded goal less than three minutes into the first.
“He anticipated the play and jumped into it well; he’s really coming into form as a player,” said general manager Ross Bidinger.
Midway through the opening period, Logan Kerner put the Rockies up by two with an unassisted goal.
“Hard work got that goal,” Mr. Bidinger said. “He just persisted every shift and doesn’t quit working hard, and it paid off there.”
Shortly after Kerner’s goal during a Rockies penalty-kill, Kimberly cut Columbia Valley’s lead in half with a goal of their own. The second period went scoreless, but there was no shortage of penalties. A total of 35-minutes had been delivered by the end of the second, along with two game misconducts.
After speaking with Kimberley’s coach after the game, Mr. Bidinger said it was agreed the match was over-penalized.
“It would have been a much more entertaining game if there weren’t so many penalties; it’s hard to get any flow to the game,” he said.
With 7:41 to go in the third, the Dynamiters were able to tie the game and drag it into overtime.
Ten minutes of extra time split between 4-on-4 and 3-on-3 play settled nothing, and the stalemate lead to a tie.
“We are fairly evenly matched with that team,” said Mr. Bidinger, “but there were so many penalties both ways.”
On Saturday (September 21st) in Invermere, Columbia Valley faced off against Golden for the second time in their past three games.
The first period seemed as though it would end scoreless until the Rockets took a 1-0 lead with less than 90 seconds to go. Seven minutes into the second, however, Ryan Henderson gave the Rockies a goal to tie the score.
But with less than a minute to follow, Golden put themselves ahead with a powerplay goal. That settled the scoring for the second, and the period ended with a 2-1 Golden lead.
Heading into the final period, coach Dubielewicz cracked the whip in the change room.
They were going to get bag skated for 40 minutes, and what they did during the third period would determine whether it would be increased to a 60-minute bag skate on Monday night.”
With that, the Rockies wasted little time producing offence, as Doan Smith evened the score with a Rockies goaless than two-minutes into the period. Golden took the lead back with one more goal of their own, and carried the lead for the majority of the period.
As the Rockets were trying to defend their one-goal lead during the final ten-minutes of play, the Rockies decided it was time to deliver their full strength. Less than seven minutes were on the clock when Ryan Henderson scored his second game-tying goal of the night.
Two-minutes of play after that, Doan Smith beat the Golden goalie for his second of the period, giving Columbia Valley their first lead of the game.
Before an intense final minute of play could ensue, Jerome Thorne scored an insurance goal, giving the Rockies a 5 – 3 lead, which was the final result of the game.
While the Rockies performed an impressive third period, management wasn’t satisfied with the entire effort.
“We played for one period and managed to win. I was pretty disappointed in the effort of a lot good players,” Mr. Bidinger said. “In saying that, it was a good win for [goalie Justin] Miller to get his first Junior B full-game”
He also said Ryan Henderson and Logan Kerner played strong throughout the duration of the game.
Columbia Valley is now at 2 wins, 1 loss, 1 tie, with 1 overtime loss, and sits in third of five teams in the Eddie Mountain Division of the KIJHL.
The Rockies play again on Friday, September 28th on the road against the Grand Forks Border Bruins. The next home game is on Friday, October 11th against Kimberley.