The Vancouver NW Giants proved to a giant problem for the Okanagan Rockets during the 2014-2015 regular season.
A 3-2 loss on Saturday, followed by a 2-2 tie on Sunday morning left the Rockets returning from the Burnaby Winter Club with just a single point on the weekend, and during the 4 game season series.
The Okanagan Rockets had been the only team during the past 2 seasons to take the season series from the Giants with identical 2-1-1 records in both 2013-2014, and 2012-2013.
This season the Rockets went 0-3-1 and were out-scored 12-6 in the process.
"We had some good efforts this weekend, we just weren't rewarded in the win column" said general manager David Michaud. Michaud was unexpectedly pressed into coaching duty after a controversial call at the 20:00 minute mark of the 3rd period on Sunday saw head coach Simon Ferguson receive a game misconduct, and the accompanying suspension that goes with it.
Ferguson got into a heated exchange with Giants coach Clint Thornton at the final buzzer after Ferguson took exception to Thornton directly addressing a Rockets player. "I fully support my head coach during this scenario" said Michaud. "I don't think there is any place in the game for a coach to confront a player directly, the result was regrettable, but I think it shows how much Simon cares about our guys."
On Saturday both Rockets markers came off the stick of forward Levi Johnson. The goals were his 9th and 10th of the season.
On Sunday, the Rockets got a pair from Kaden Black in the 2-2 tie. Black now has 5 goals on the campaign.
15 year old rookie net minder Cole Demers had a terrific showing as he started both games in place of 17 year old Jordan Reynolds who had been called up by the BCHL's West Kelowna Warriors for their home-and-home set with he Penticton Vees. Demers was particularly sharp during Sunday's 2-2 tie as he stopped 35 of 37.
The Rockets also played without their two young guns as Lucas Cullen and Nolan Kneen were with the U16 Team BC for a weekend camp as they begin preparations for the Canada Winter Games in Prince George.
On Saturday, the Rockets played without the services of 17 yr old forward Brett Witala, and on Sunday they played without captain Mark Krabben who sustained a injury during Saturday's game. Krabben is not expected to miss anytime during the Mac's.
The Rockets now head to the Christmas break with a record of 17-7-2, good for 36 points and sole possession of 2nd place in the BCMML standings.
The Rockets will next participate in a pair of tournaments beginning with the prestigious Mac's Midget Tournament in Calgary. Following the Mac's, the Rockets will begin defence of their KIMMT Championship.
The Mac's Tournament begins on Boxing day as the Rockets take on the Calgary Buffaloes. Game time is set for 11:45 pacific time.