Beyond the Blue Line

By Stephanie Stevens

In the words of Columbia Valley Rockies Director of Player Personnel Scott Dubielewicz, it was a “nice way to start the season.”

The Rockies’ first game of the 2023/24 season against the Spokane Braves was a 7-0 shutout at the Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena on Friday, Sept. 22.

Head coach Taylor Sincennes echoed Dubielewicz’s sentiments, adding he was glad to see the team paying attention to detail with strong game play across the entire team. 

“There were seven goals and seven different goal scorers … you don’t see that often,” Sincennes said. “I was really impressed with (goalie) Jaiden Jakubowski. He is only 18, it was his first game in the KIJHL and he shut the door.”

The fast-paced game saw goals from #25 Tyson Sandhu (assist from #26 Justin King), #11 Wyatt Wurtz (assists from #16 Gage Sather and #19 Johnny Lozeman) and #8 Teo Fath (unassisted) in the first period. 

The second period saw King find the net assisted by #24 Luke Hamilton and #9 Carter Velker.

Three more goals in the third period were courtesy of #22 Kobe Mason (assist from Fath), #6 Ellis Mcgeough (assist from Mason) and Sather (assists from #12 Kaelen Shelton and #23 Kaelen Bodnarchuk).

Saturday’s home game against the Princeton Posse started out a little slower with Sincennes saying the team was caught “a little off guard” to start. 

“Princeton is a little stronger team (than Spokane), but we had some really good goaltending and the team got back on track quickly,” he said. 

Player #30 Nate Glenn saved 40 of 42 shots on goal and the 7-2 Rockies victory saw another impressive spread of scorers. 

First period scoring was Mason (assists from Velker and #18, Maxence Guay). Second period scoring saw #14, Tysin Mulligan (assists from #7 Mason Hastings and Hamilton), Sather (unassisted), Fath (assists from Velker and Hamilton) and Guay (assists from Mason and Velker). The third person saw #13 Josh David put in two, assisted first by King and then #29 Carter Krause and Mulligan. 

Sincennes said he was impressed by the team’s effort.

“They made some mistakes early on, but they righted the ship and saved the game,” he said. “The weekend was an exciting start to the season.”

The Rockies’ next five games are away, Sept. 29 seeing them in Castlegar, Sept. 30 in Grand Forks, Oct. 1 in Spokane, Oct. 6 in Revelstoke and Oct. 7 in Golden.

The next home game is Friday, Oct. 13 with the Kimberley Dynamiters.