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A solid defensive effort leads to a Rockets victory
The Rockets avenged a pair of earlier losses by beating the Kimberley Dynamiters 4-2 thanks to some tight checking defense and a few timely goals. The Dynamiters, who led the Eddie Mountain Division heading into Friday night's action, managed just 21 shots against a Rockets team that had what was easily one of their best defensive efforts of the season.
The game got off to a very promising start for the home side when veteran defenceman Michael Anderson scored just over a minute into the first on a screened shot from the point. It was just the third goal of his KIJHL career for the big stay-at-home defender.
A few chances were exchanged through the rest of the period, with the Dynamiters managing just 3 shots in the first frame. Golden had several power play opportunities but failed to capitalize and extend the lead.
"I think we've gotta finish a little bit better. There are certain times in the game when we have [the opposition] on the ropes and we let them back in," said Rockets' head coach Ty Davidson after the game.
The defensive struggle continued in the second, but the Dynamiters did find a way back into the game. Five minutes into the period, Dynamiters' forward Dallin Wolf managed to block a Brett DeFrias shot and win the battle up ice to centre the puck to teammate Jason Richter, who made no mistake and knotted the game up 1-1.
After the Rockets killed off a pair of penalties late in the second, they took a power play into the third looking for the lead. Unfortunately for the home team and the crowd of 248 that had come out to cheer them on, a Rockets giveaway led to a shorthanded breakaway for Dynamiters' forward Dylan Sibbald, who beat Golden netminder Brian Parsons for a 2-1 lead. The Rockets were not deterred, however, and responded just 24 seconds later with a goal by Ian Desrosier. The eventual game-winning goal came from Tanner Watt, who now has four points in his last four games after tallying just a single point in his first seven contests of the season.
The lead seemed precarious at times as the Dynamiters pushed for the equalizer, but the fans in attendance at the Plywood Palace were able to breathe a big sigh of relief when Connor Beauchemin broke in alone on Dynamiters' goaltender Jeremy Mousseau and put the final nail in Kimberley's coffin.
It was a good all-around effort for the Rockets against a club that had their number up until last night, and the win is one that Davidson hopes his team can build upon.
"Only 6 points separates us from Kimberley, the year is still up for grabs. Obviously we have to put some pressure on ourselves. We can't continue just to flounder and not get wins. We've gotta be able to get some wins and we did that tonight, and we're feeling pretty good about ourselves," he said.
The Rockets travel to Revelstoke Saturday night for a meeting with the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies are also off to a disappointing start this season, having lost 5 in a row and struggling to a last place 2-8-2 record in the Doug Birks Division.