The early season dream match up turned into a nightmare for the Rockets this past weekend at the CNC as their chief rivals, the Vancouver NW Giants walked away with all 4 points after a weekend sweep.
The Rockets offence dried up and they quite simply couldn't catch a break either. Case in point, while trailing 2-1 on Sunday and working with a 5 on 3 advantage for 2:00 full minutes, all the Rockets had to show for it was a pair of cross bars. Shortly after the kill, the Giants would add the insurance marker they needed to secure the sweep.
On the bright side, the Rockets have allowed just 11 goals in 4 games, good for a goal against average of 2.75, and their penalty kill has been a strength allowing just 2 goals against in 18 opportunities.
General manager David Michaud was taking a glass half full approach to his clubs weekend struggles. "Our effort was much better on Sunday, so we will build from there. Sometimes breaks are tough to come by, but I'm also a firm believer that you create your breaks as well. There are still some tendencies we are seeing that are concerning to Simon Ferguson and David Whistle, so the sooner we have all 20 of our guys on the same page, the sooner our players will be rewarded with successful results."
The losses for the Rockets weren't just limited to the scoreboard. The Rockets learned they will be without the services of defenceman Sam DeMelo and forward Lucas Cullen for extended periods of time. "Both players are key for us, so it will be very important for us to be patient and not rush either of them back. We like our depth and have some very capable players to help us out in the interim." said Michaud. The club will learn more this week on how long they can expect to be without the two.
In the meantime, the Rockets will skate 4 times this week to prepare for the South Island Royals who are coming off a weekend sweep of Nanaimo, including a 9-2 win on Sunday. "Nobody is going to feel sorry for us, the Royals especially" said head coach Simon Ferguson. "we have to dust ourselves off and get back to work this week and get ready for another couple of tough games at home."
Games are set for 3:00 pm on Saturday, and 10:00 am on Sunday.