For the first 40 minutes, the Okanagan Rockets played about as solid of a road game as you can get, the last 20 minutes needed a little work. None the less, the Rockets survived a 3rd period scare and defeated the North Island Silvertips 6-4 on Saturday evening at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
The Rockets led 2-1 after 20 minutes, and 5-1 after 40 minutes only to watch the "Tips" come flying out of the gate in the 3rd period. North Island climbed all the way back to within one before the Rockets were able to seal the deal with an empty netter and claim their 1st road win of the 2014-2015 season.
"Not the finish we wanted" said Rockets head coach Simon Ferguson. "I thought we did a really good job of controlling things early, but the 3rd period we took our foot off the gas. Our club is going to be in tough if we don't work for a full 60 minutes."
The Rockets got yet another big performance from leading scorer Marcus Mitchell who recorded his 2nd hat-trick in the clubs first seven games. Mitchell now has a BCMML leading 11 goals on the season.
Three singles came from players who all netted their 1st BCMML goals. Zach Erhardt opened the scoring less than 3 minutes into the opening period, while Connor Bowey, and Carter Rhine chipped in from the back end.
Jordan Reynolds made 19 saves to improve his overall record to 4-1-0 on the season.
The special teams proved to be a huge factor in this contest as the Rockets went 2 for 6 with man-advantage, and picked up a short handed goal from Mitchell as well. The penalty kill went 2 for 3 on the night. The goal against, came in the 3rd period and ended a streak of 16 consecutive kills from the Rockets penalty killing units.
With the victory, the Rockets improved their overall record to 5-2-0 and have now won 13 straight games vs. the Silvertips heading into the weekend finale tomorrow afternoon. The Silvertips dropped to 1-8-0, but at least for 20 minutes in this contest gave the Rockets all they could handle.