By Stephanie Stevens
The Columbia Valley Rockies had a bittersweet weekend December 8 and 9.
The hometown boys hosted the North Okanagan Kings on Friday, Dec. 8 and the Beaver Valley Nitehawks Saturday in the Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena.
Friday’s game was a 4-3 overtime win for the Rockies, with Kobe Mason opening up the scoring early in the first period (assists from Kyran Gromnisky and Teo Fath).
After a dry second period, Jamieson Franz got things back on track in the third (assist from Carter Velker) and Kaelan Shelton tied up the game to take them into overtime.
Gromnisky scored the winning goal with assists from Danny Schmirler and goaltender Jaiden Jakubowski.
“We did a good job staying in the game and finding a way to battle out a win with a couple of injuries popping up throughout the game,” said head coach Tayler Sincennes. “Saturday was disappointing after an emotional Friday night win to fall flat against a good hockey team.”
The disappointment came in the form of a 4-1 loss to Beaver Valley, but there was an element of sweetness in the form of Invermere’s own Paddy Donahue getting his first Kootenay International Junior Hockey League goal (assists from Ellis Mcgeough and Velker).
“It was super awesome to see Paddy get his first goal,” said associate coach Tucker Braund. “He’s worked so hard last year and this year where now he’s a top D (defenseman) on our team. Last year he was really pushing to score and now he’s settled in and it caught us by surprise. He’s going to start scoring more often now, the door is open and he’s got that feeling. He told me after though he would trade it for a win. He really wants to do something exciting with this team for the community.”
Assistant coach Tanner Wit said while it didn’t feel like the team was at its best last weekend, Donahue’s goal was a highlight.
“It was pretty cool to watch the group rally around Paddy after scoring a long time overdue goal,” said Wit, adding they were going to take the lessons they learned at the Saturday game and look to finish up the last weekend before Christmas break on a better note.
“The weekend as a whole felt incomplete to me,” added Braund. “We are working on finding that consistency, working as a team, fighting through the stormy moments and finding the sun on the other side. We have to understand it’s not going to be easy, but it’s a lot easier when we work together as a team.”
The Rockies have three away games on Dec. 15, 16 and then on Dec. 30 before counting down to the new year in a New Year’s Eve tilt with the Creston Valley Thundercats at the Eddie.