Submitted by Columbia Valley Rockies

The Columbia Valley Rockies had an incredible week, taking all three games they played, and remaining in first place and taking over first place overall in the Kootenay International Hockey League (KIJHL).

December 6 found your Rockies on the road to Fernie with a midweek game against the Riders. The Rockies looked forward to the opportunity to create more distance in the standings with a big ‘W’. The hometown Riders opened the scoring midway through the first period. However, goaltender, Brett Sweet, locked the door and would frustrate the home team for the rest of the game. The Rockies would even it up just two minutes later on the power play as Kennan Ingram would pot his 22nd of the year with help from Reed Sparrow and Anthony Domina. 

Your Rockies were not done yet, as Harrison Aldridge would add another from Domina and Kayde Kinaschuk to close out the first period with the Rockies leading 2-1. The Rockies dominance of this game would continue in the second period as they outshot and outplayed Fernie. Riley Cormier added his second goal of the year from Aldridge and Shelton. 

In the third the Rockies and the Yeti would discourage any fans hoping for a comeback as the power play would ignite again; Kinashcuk pocketed a nifty 14th goal of the season on some beauty puck movement from Sparrow and Jake Measel. Halfway through the third Kyran Gromnisky took matters into his own hands and buried his second of the year all by himself. The Rockies won 5-1, outshooting the opponents 44 – 24. Goaltender Sweet recorded another win.

On December 9 the Revelstoke Grizzlies entered the intimidating ‘Yeti Den’ #YallYetiForThis with first place overall being on the line. This was a battle of first(s) – your Rockies first overall in offensive power, and Revelstoke first overall in defensive prowess. The crowd paid full price for their seats but only sat on half of it throughout the game. Nate Glenn got the call for the Rockies in net, and he was determined to stone the visitors. The first period had both teams trading opportunities with excellent defensive play on both sides. 

In the second period, the Rockies took to the power play. It’s a dangerous game visiting teams play when they allow the Rockies and the Yeti an extra man. As announcer, Cable, would call it, ‘Magnum KI’ (Kennan Ingram) would roof his 23rd of the year from Measel and Domina, putting the Rockies up by one. Seven minutes later, as the fans in the Yeti Den implored, the Rockies on the ice would tilt in favour of your home town team.  Kobe Mason, as announcer, Cable, described, “like the garbage man picking up the trash”, batted one behind the visitors tender in a battle of wills in the blue paint. Blake Hilterman and newly-acquired Jack Weininger picked up the apples on the goal. The Rockies took a 2 – Rip lead to the dressing room after two. 

There was still a little fight in the visitors though, as they would sneak a couple past and tied the game in regulation at two. Both teams picked up one point but the Rockies and the Yeti wanted more. In overtime, glorious opportunities were had by both teams, and goaltender Glenn was up to the challenge. With no scoring in OT, the game went to a shootout. The crowd, as announcer, Wilson, called it, were getting their money’s worth.

As the referee placed the puck on the centre ice dot, the visitors were presented with the opportunity to go first. One could almost see the grin behind goaltender, Nate Glenn’s mask behind the vaulted Yeti logo. He easily stopped the first skater, and the next and the next and the next and the next. This would take five rounds of one-on-one before Kayde Kinaschuk would weave his way to the net and, as called by Cable, “Kinaschuk pour some sugar on me, top shelf” gave the win to the Rockies and the fans went LOUD!!!! The Rockies won 3-2.

On December 10 the Rockies and the Yeti would have the Nelson Leafs attempt entry to the unhospitable Yeti Den. #YallYetiForThis

On this night, the Rockies were in a foul mood and were about to unleash some pain on those who would dare enter the home of the Rockies. Goaltender Sweet took to his net and dared the green team to come on down….

At the 10- minute mark, Magnum KI drew first blood with his 24th of the year from Sparrow and Weininger. The Rockies were up by one as the first period came to a close. The crowd at the Eddie were enthusiastic and in a party mood as the teams came on the ice for the second period. At 8:16, as Cable would call it,  Aldridge, “knocked those cookies off top shelf” with apples received by Mason and Gromnisky. That goal took any wind that may have been in the sales and blew the leafs around…

Four minutes later Gromnisky, shorthanded, put the Rockies up by three with an end-to-end beauty as it was called by Cable, “Grom – dang-o-licious”. Now the Rockies and the Yeti were about to strike fear into many teams in the KIJHL as they swept out the leafs. Jonah Fournier would complete what was described by announcer Cable as, “Classic Triangle – Fournier”, with David and Fath completing the triangle, making smooth passes stick-to-stick.  

The piling on continued in the third as the demoralized visitors spent most of the time in their end attempting to slow the onslaught. The Rockies and the Yeti showed no mercy as they pushed hard. If not for tremendous backstopping by their goalie, who faced 22 shots in the third period, it would have been more painful for them. Reed Sparrow would pocket his fifth of the year from Hilterman and David – Rockies up by five with time to play. And then, as if to signal time to pack up and find the bus, Hiltermann picked up the puck behind goaltender, Sweet, and deftly moved through all five defenders, going end-to-end, finishing, as announcer Cable called it, “ Hiltermann – right through – 5 hole”. Rockies took this one 6-0. It was goaltender Sweet with the win. The Rockies picked up six big points his week and are first overall in the KIJHL.

Fans want to be part of this: there is one final home game before Christmas. Come on down the Eddie Mountain memorial Arena (the Yeti Den) on Friday Dec. 16 at 7:30pm as the Rockies take on the Golden Rockets with a home-and-home series. Be part of the greatest Yeti entertainment in the Kootenays! #YallYetiForThis