Weekend Warriors

Two days, two games, 1300 km and three of four points added to their standings equals a successful weekend away.

The Columbia Valley Rockies were on the road last weekend, playing first in 100 Mile House against the Wranglers Nov. 17 and then in Kamloops Nov. 18 where they took on the Storm. Friday’s tilt with the Wranglers was a 5-2 win for the Rockies with netminder Jaiden Jakubowski keeping out 29 of 31 shots.

“We played well after a long bus ride and got the job done,” said associate coach Tucker Braund. 

Scoring in the first period was Tysin Mulligan (assists from Carter Velker and Jamieson Franz), Kyran Grominsky (assists from Ethan Adair and Paddy Donahue), both power play goals, and then Johnny Lozeman (assist from Donahue). Wyatt Wurtz put another past the Wranglers’ goalie in the second (assists from Luke Hamilton and Danny Schmirler) and proving the drought is truly over, Lozeman clinched the game in the third period with an unassisted, shorthanded goal. 

“We took advantage of them taking penalties early in 100 Mile House,” said head coach Tayler Sincennes. Assistant coach Tanner Wit echoed Braund and Sincennes sentiments. 

“A lengthy road trip like that can be difficult but we played really well in both games,” he said. “Friday night we executed the way we wanted to and came up with the win.”

While Saturday’s game against Kamloops ended 2-1 for the Storm, the overtime loss was at the end of a well-played game. 

“Kamloops was one of the better games I have seen this year,” said Sincennes. “Two very good teams going back and forth. Unfortunately we couldn’t manage to get the win in overtime but three of four points on a long road trip is important in the standings.”

Scoring for the Rockies in the Saturday game was Oleg Bitus (assisted by Grominsky). Netminder Nate Glenn stopped 37 of 39 shots on goal.

“Finding consistency with our power play will be huge going forward,” said Braud. “The team has been buying into the defensive side of the game which is good going forward. We want them to be strong on both sides of the puck: it bodes well for our team game but also individually and in trying to move players on to the next level, they have to be good defensively.”

“We got what we wanted out of (the weekend) with stuff to work on this week and didn’t hurt ourselves in the standings,” added Wit. 

The Rockies are back in the Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena Friday, Nov. 24 against the Kelowna Chiefs, away in Fernie on Nov. 25 and back in the Eddie hosting the Golden Rockets for a Tuesday game Nov. 28.

Written by Stephanie Stevens