The Columbia Valley Rockies hit the ice this past weekend for their 22nd game of the season Saturday, November 18th against the Golden Rockets, following Friday’s 3-2 loss against the Fernie Ghostriders. Both were home games and played at the Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena to a solid crowd of supporters.
The Rockies are currently ranked third in the Kootenay Conference: Eddie Mountain Division. The Kimberley Dynamiters have taken top spot with the Creston Valley Thundercats in second, followed by the Fernie Ghostriders in fourth and the Golden Rockets trailing in fifth place.
The Rockies nailed it Saturday with a 5-3 win against the Rockets, coming on strong after a bit of a slow start.
“I thought we had a sleepy first period. We woke up in the second and we were okay in the third — there were a few uncharacteristic things, over handling pucks was one of them, but for the most part we found a way to win which is the important thing,” said head coach Wade Dubliewicz.
On some of the out of place things the Rockies did on Friday and Saturday, Mr. Dubliewicz commented that the team has been working really hard on getting available and open for their defence for an easy play, which wasn’t happening over the weekend.
“We weren’t working hard to get to open areas and when we started to do that our D-men weren’t moving the puck, so it was a bit of a trickle down effect,” said Mr. Dubliewicz.
Though, the Rockies lost Friday’s game, Mr. Dubliewicz said the team played well.
“We had a lot of chances in the first period but we weren’t able to put it in the back of the net and Fernie played a hard working gritty game and because we didn’t get those chances earlier to gain a bit of momentum, we couldn’t get back into it.
The team will continue to strengthen their D-zone as they move forward this season, according to Mr. Dubliewicz.
“We have Kimberley and Spokane this coming weekend and we’re going to match up with the top team in our division, so it should give us an idea of where we’re at,” he said.
Mr. Dubliewicz also spoke about the player that was injured at the Saturday, November 11th game.
Goalie Parker Wasylenko got clipped on the head by one of his teammates, sustaining a concussion and whiplash.
“They took him off on a spinal board as a precaution but he’s okay and he’s getting better,” said Mr. Dubliewicz, of Mr. Wasylenko’s recovery.
Team captain Cooper Krauss also spoke with the Pioneer on the team’s progress this season.
“We’re definitely taking steps in the right direction in the D-zone and the offensive zone and we’re definitely moving forward with the two wins last weekend and our win tonight,” he said. “As a group we’re really coming together. It’s becoming tighter every time and it gives us the ability to have more fun,” he said.
Tyler Bordt was one of the players who stood out at Saturday’s game, assisting Chase Hawkins for two goals, one in the top of the first period and the final goal in the bottom of the third period.
“We’re working on really good simple plays…I don’t have many goals yet, but I’m making nice plays, nice passes and setting guys up on the power play,” said Mr. Bordt.
Of gaining momentum, top scorer of the night, Mr. Hawkins spoke on the success of the evening.
“At first we weren’t going but we found a way to come back in the second period and the boys were just going hard after that and we fought to get back in the game after the first period.”