The greatest game on ice is back in the Valley. The local Columbia Valley Rockies laced up this past weekend, taking on the Kimberley Dynamiters on Friday, September 8th, and then opening at home on Saturday, September 9th against the Castlegar Rebels.
With Friday being the team’s first game of the season, head coach Wade Dubielewicz stated after the first game the team started out a little nervous.
“Kimberley has historically competed really, really hard and I don’t think our competitiveness was at a high enough level,” said Mr. Dubielewicz.
While the Dynamiters dominated the first two periods, Rockies Jared Bordt set up by Joshua Antunes got the first goal of the season for the team. The Dynamiters came back hard, scoring four more goals, taking the final score to 6-1 for Kimberley.
“Our goalie played extremely well and kept us in the game pretty much into midway through the third and we had some opportunities, to be honest with you, to tie or go ahead and it just didn’t happen and then late in the third we kind of broke down,” said Mr. Dubielewicz.
Starting goalie for the team, Ben Kelsch, made 32 saves during the game, earning himself the second star of the evening. Mr. Dubielewicz commented that the competitiveness of his veterans was the biggest factor in Friday night’s match.
“Against Kimberley, to be honest, I think our skill easily matches up. We do have a skilled group and it’s going to be up to our veterans to show the younger guys how hard you have to work on a day in and day out basis to be competitive,” said Mr. Dubielewicz.
Heading into their home match up against the Castlegar Rebels Mr. Dubielewicz was hoping to see more of that competitiveness come out of his team. The Rockies started off strong with Mike Dyck getting the first goal of the night at 19:35, set up by Joshua Antunes and Kale Hawryluk.
“Mike Dyck came out of his shell tonight and had a lot of scoring chances; he’s probably one to watch,” said Mr. Dubielewicz.“He’s a confident, good hockey player and wants the puck on his stick which you want your top players to feel that way.”
Then at 11:28, Tyler Nypower got an unassisted goal, taking the Rockies to a 2-0 lead over the visiting Rebels. The Rebels answered back to the Rockies, tying the game at the end of the first period. Throughout the second and third periods, the Rockies found themselves in the penalty box a total of nine times allowing for the Rebels to score two goals on power plays and another four goals throughout taking the game to an 8-2 finish.
“When you play a team with that kind of forwards you can’t make bad decisions or mental mistakes because they’ll put it in your net,” said Mr. Dubielewicz.
Despite the final score, Mr. Dubielewicz said he was happy with his team’s work ethic, stating the team showed him something he can work with.
“We got to work on our decision making under pressure, simple as that. Systematically we got to start working a little better together away from the puck,” said Mr. Dubielewicz.
After Saturday’s performance, the coaching staff saw what they need to work on and expect the team to get better for their next weekend which will be two away games in Castlegar and Nelson.
The Columbia Valley Rockies are also preparing for an upcoming fundraiser at Copper Point Golf on Saturday, September 23rd. Entrance is $100, which gets participants a cart, golf round, t-shirt, dinner at the clubhouse and more. To register for the golf tournament call the Copper Point Golf Pro Shop at 250-341-3392.