Rockets Play with Pride to Finish Strong at Mac's
A pair of late 3rd period power play goals earned the Okanagan Rockets a hard fought 5-3 win over the UFA Bisons to close out the Mac's Tournament.
The Rockets got a goal and an assist from both Josh Blanchard and Brett Mennear. Other goal scorers were Liam Finlay, Cortlan Procter, and Spencer Hewson.
Brenden Mills made 17 saves for the Rockets.
At 2-2-0, the Rockets knew in advance of Sunday's game that the outcome wouldn't be able to propel them to the clubs 1st ever playoff appearance at the Mac's. Regardless of that, the Rockets felt the need to finish strong."
"I'm incredibly proud of the way our group came together today to finish this tournament the way we wanted" said Rockets general manager David Michaud. "It would have been awfully easy for us to pack it and and say it wasn't our week. We talked about playing with pride and going out on a good note."
The Rockets never really got on a roll at the Mac's. The BCMML's highest scoring offence couldn't get rolling in Calgary and ultimately were burned by a slow-start against Carolina on boxing day. "That opening loss really seemed to set the tone for our week. I said it all along, the Mac's doesn't afford you the chance to slip up very much."
The Rockets are left to wonder what could have been. "Nobody in our pool seemed to take control. It's tough to realize that if we played the way we know we are capable of, we likely would have won our pool."
The BCMML will be well represented in the playoff round as each othe the Cariboo Cougars, Vancouver NW Giants, and the Greater Vancouver Canadians all advanced through. "On the ice, there is obviously some big rivalries, but off the ice we all spend time with each other and respect the job that each team does. I think it's tremendous for our league that those three clubs were moving on, I'd love to see an all-BC final. It shows how deep and talented the BCMML really is."
The Rockets will now return home and resume their quest of catching the Vancouver NE Giants for the top spot in the BCMML standings. The Giants enter 2013 just 2 points up on the Rockets. The North Island Silvertips are first up for the Rockets next Saturday and Sunday at the Capital News Centre. Games are set for 3:00 pm and 10:00 am respectively.