Submitted by Mark Teterenko
The Rockies kicked off the new year in week 13 with a home-and-home series against the Creston Valley Thundercats starting Jan. 4 in Creston. The game started a level 1-1 after the first period before a penalty filled second and third period had the Rockies blow the doors wide open to ultimately finish the game with a 5-2 win. Goaltender, Grady Nicholas (33), turned aside 39 out of 41 shots in the victory earning him a 0.951 save percentage.
Following the Rockies 5-2 win on Jan. 4, the teams were set for a rematch in Invermere on Jan. 7. The Rockies quickly got on the board just over one minute into the game, and kept padding to their lead with another goal in the first and two more in the second before finishing the game 4-1. This time, it was Goaltender, Scott Thompson (30), stopping 40 of 41 shots earning him a 0.976 save percentage in the win.
The final game for week 13 was scheduled to be played on Jan. 8 against the Fernie Ghostriders in Invermere but was ultimately postponed to a later date.
With the trade deadline looming at 4 p.m. on Jan. 10, Rockies General Manager, Wade Dubielewicz, was busy finalizing the roster that would be taking the team to the very end of the season. On Jan. 9, Dubielewicz acquired the playing rights of 2002-born defenceman Nicholas Rogalsky from the North Okanagan Knights in return for future considerations. Additionally, on Jan. 10, the Rockies moved the playing rights of 2003-born Gage Lajeunesse and 2001-born Tristan Lambert to the Revelstoke Grizzlies for future considerations. We want to thank both Gage and Tristan for their time with the Rockies and welcome Nicholas to the team!
Week 14 slated a Jan. 11 matchup in Fernie against the Ghostriders, and a Jan. 15 matchup in Golden against the Rockets. In Fernie, the Rockies scored just six minutes into the game but found themselves behind after two periods, 3-1. Anyone who has followed this team this year is well aware of how the team never gives up, and this game continued to follow that mentality. About halfway into the third, Kayde Kinaschuk (29) started off the comeback with a goal assisted by Colby Phillips (14) and Kyle Shoemaker (6), and then a late five minute penalty by Fernie allowed the Dylan Malarchuk (19) to tie it before Jakob McLean (12) potted the game winning goal at 16:10 of the third period.
The Jan. 15 game against the Golden Rockets was also an entertaining affair as after building a 3-0 lead a quarter way through the second period, Golden came back to score three goals within four minutes to knot the game up at 3-3. Late into the second period, Dylan Malarchuk (19) scored to put the Rockies ahead 4-3, but Golden scored just eight seconds later to tie the game at 4-4. After a regroup in the locker room, the Rockies came out in period three with four unanswered goals from Owen Hughes (11), Max Kathol (10) x2, and Vaughn Strutt (17), to seal yet another win for the Rockies.
As of Jan. 17, the Columbia Valley Rockies sit second in the division with a 21-7-2-1 record good for 45 points. They are currently one point behind the Kimberley Dynamiters who sit at 46 points. Week 15 brings the Murdoch Division leaders Nelson Leafs to the Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena on Jan. 21 at 7:30 p.m. The Rockies follow that matchup with another home game against the Kimberley Dynamiters on Saturday, Jan. 22 at 7 p.m.