The Columbia Valley Rockies hit the ice this past weekend for their fourth home game of the season Saturday, October 7th against the Creston Valley Thundercats, following an away game with the Fernie Ghostriders on Friday, October 6th.
The Rockies came on strong in the last half and going into overtime, with Creston scoring the winning goal, putting them at 5-4.
With Saturday being the seventh game in the season, head coach Wade Dubliewicz was slightly disappointed with the outcome but he thought the boys played a solid game despite having a slow start in the first two periods.
“We didn’t show up for the first two periods. We’re lucky that after 40 minutes the guys stepped up, and we’re fortunate that we’re still in the game and we made a lot of shots in the third period — their goalie made some good saves, but we could have won it,” said Mr. Dubliewicz.
The Rockies spent a significant amount of time in the penalty box throughout the evening with a fight erupting between Hunter Beckett and a Creston player in the second period, but that was partially due to a green referee according to the head coach, not a reflection of his players aggression.
“We had a young referee and he’s figuring out this level of hockey and so there’s always going to be a different style with each ref, so I think that probably had more to do with it,” he said.
Davin Burton commented on the penalty box, having spent time there for interference, while also attributing some of the calls to a “green ref.”
“He made a few calls that if he wouldn’t have made the game could have gone a different way, possibly in our favour — there were a few weak calls but it’s hockey and we’re going to get penalties regardless,” he said.
Despite losing a few players to the penalty box, the team managed to even it out when Tyler Nypower scored in the bottom of the second period, bringing the game to 4-3.
The Rockies were a force in the third period, quickening their pace and taking numerous shots on their opponent’s net. Mike Dyck scored at the bottom of the third period assisted by Seth Summers and Chase Hawkins, putting the team in a 4-4 tiebreaker with Creston.
“I think the boys had a slow start in the first couple periods. Creston got a few goals, but we battled our way back and made it to overtime where we got caught and they ended up getting a goal,” said Mr. Nypower.
Work ethic is a big thing the players are focusing on in practice and keeping their defence moving at a fast pace.
“We’re working on our breakouts and work ethic — as long as our D-men are moving the puck pretty quickly I think we’re getting out of our zone a lot more than normal and I think that’s creating a lot more offence for our team,” said Mr. Nypower.
The Rockies are working on keeping the goals out of their net and that’s a top consideration as the team proceeds this season.
“I think that’s probably the solution here, our D-zone has gotten a lot better but it’s still a long way from where it should be,” said Mr. Dubliewicz.
The next home game is Saturday, October 14th vs. Beaver Valley. The game starts at 7:30 p.m.