Submitted by Columbia Valley Rockies
The Columbia Valley Rockies began their 2018/2019 hockey season with a roadtrip to Summerland on Friday, September 7th. The team was excited to begin the season on the road as it provided an opportunity for some team bonding.
The game started with a very good attendance for the home crowd and for the Rockies as a number of parents made the drive to Summerland to watch the players open their season. The Steam capitalized on a Rockies penalty to score the first goal of the game at 13:12.
The momentum began to swing shortly after the first goal in what was a close checking game. The Rockies started to use their speed and physical effort to create time and space. At 7:42 of the first period Gavin Fleck – with assists from Dace Prymak and Ryan Skytt – helped the Rockies even the score on a power play goal. However this was to be short lived as the Steam answered back with an unassisted goal at 7:00 of the first period.
The Rockies began to press hard in the second and third period with a number of chances that were stopped. The Rockies enjoyed another power play with Jesse Carr scoring – assisted by Eric Lloyd – at 5:59 of the second period. The period ended with the Rockies and the Steam tied at two goals apiece.
In the third period the Rockies began to use their work effort and pace to their advantage. Chase Hawkins – with assists from Jesse Carr and Logan MacDonald – put the Rockies in the driver seat at 15:35 of the third period and they never looked back. This gave a 3 to 2 lead for the Rockies. However they were not done! Zachary Giacobbo – with assists from Erik Lloyd and Jesse Carr – scored at 3:11 of the third while on a power play. A mere 11 seconds later Ryan Skytt, assisted from Brandt Black, gave the Rockies their season opening win with a 5 to 2 final.
Coach Wade Dubielewicz stated: “I think it was a really good start to the season for our group. Our back end played very well, and it was nice to see the power play puck movement this early in the season.”
The next evening the team was on the ice facing the Grand Forks Border Bruins. The Bruins the night before had beaten the Princeton Posse handily with an 8 to 1 score. It brought a number of unknowns as the Rockies lined up for the initial faceoff. The Bruins opened the scoring at 18:06 of the first period.
The Rockies answered that with a goal at 12:22 by Jesse Carr assisted by Logan MacDonald and Chase Hawkins. Shortly after that Hunter Beckett, assisted from Fraser McMann at 12:01 of the first period gave the Rockies the lead.
At 9:18 of the third period the Bruins tied it up. This seemed to motivate the Rockies as their veterans and rookies started to take the play to the Bruins. At 2:54 of the third period a tremendous 3 on 2 line rush resulted in a goal by Ryan Skytt assisted by Chase Hawkins and Fraser McMann to give the Rockies the lead with a 3 to 2 score.
The Bruins pulled their goalie with just over a minute and a half remaining putting a lot of pressure on the Rockies. Whilst the Rockies were bending and blocking shots they did not break! The Rockies held on to win their second game of the season by outshooting the Bruins 46 to 32. The Rockies won both games on their opening weekend!
These early season wins are exciting for the team and its sponsors, supporters, families and friends. The Rockies are playing an exciting fast-paced game and look forward to their next road trip on September 14th and 15th against the Beaver Valley Nighthawks and the Castlegar Rebels. Then they return home to open on home ice on Friday, September 21st against the Golden Rockets.
“This weekend was very positive for our group. Anytime you can start the season with wins, it not only helps individual confidence but also team confidence,” said Mr. Dubielewicz.