The Golden Rockets continue to struggle this season with anther two-loss weekend.
Friday night saw the Nelson Leafs coming to town. The Rockets struggled all night getting the puck out of their zone resulting in the Leafs scoring multiple times in a 5-1 loss.
The first period got off to a fast start with the Rockets going on the powerplay a minute and a half into the game. After not being able to capitalize on the early powerplay, the Rockets fell into penalty trouble of their own when Kade Garrity received a game misconduct four minutes into the period for checking from behind.
The Leafs opened the scoring ten minutes in after David Sanchez slipped one past Rockets goaltender Calum Humble. The Rockets were quick to respond though, tying it up two and a half minutes later when Ryley Bast put the puck passed Leafs netminder Josh Williams, assisted by Christopher Dees and Austin Wagner. The Rockets ended the first period behind in shots 16-9.
The second period saw the Leafs scoring two more goals to take a 3-1 lead. Justin Podgorenko scored the go ahead goal with 8:34 remaining in the period and Brendan Makay scored on the powerplay with 26 seconds remaining after Ryan Partaker received a game misconduct for head contact. The call had the Rockets coaching staff up in arms as they vocally challenged the call. Head coach Jason Stephens was particularly unhappy with the call.
The second period ended with The Leafs ahead in shots 32-17.
The third period saw one more goal from the Leafs after Ryan Piva scored on the powerplay two minutes into the period. The Rockets continued their penalty trouble receiving three more penalties in the third period. Head Coach Jason Stephens was unhappy with the result of the game and voiced it after it ended.
“I’m not very happy right now,” Stephens said. “Overall I think we could have played a lot better than we did tonight. We just didn’t seem to have any urgency tonight.”
Stephens was unhappy with the refereeing and was vocal about it throughout the game. Afterwards he voiced his displeasure with the quality of refereeing.
“I just think the referee has to give you the respect to be able to talk to him,” Stephens said. “This guy wanted nothing to do with us tonight and we questioned some calls…it’s tough especially in our own barn. We seem to run into this a lot”
Saturday’s game in Kimberly didn’t get much better for the Rockets losing 7-0. Kimberly opened the scoring ten minutes into the first period and adding another goal two minutes later taking a 2-0 lead into the first intermission. The second period didn’t go any better with Kimberly adding an additional three more goals. The third period saw a goaltender change with Canon Whitbread coming in to relieve Calum Humble. That didn’t slow Kimberly down however, with the Dynamiters adding two more in the period.
Saturday’s game also saw a number of penalties going each way. The third period saw three members of each team getting game misconduct penalties. Jake Gudjonson, Ryan Partaker, and Matthew Cormak of the Rockets and Nicholas Ketola, Matt Davies and Lucas Chilton of the Dynamiters were each given game misconduct with four minutes remaining in the game.
Looking towards the future Stephens is focusing on consistency. “Every night you’ve got to bring 60 minutes and it’s showing our consistency isn’t there.”
The Rockets are on the road this weekend with a rematch in Nelson followed by a game Castlegar. The Rockets return home November 3 with a game against Grand Forks.