The Okanagan Rockets dropped both games of a weekend series against the 8th placed team in the BCMML, the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds.
The Rockets played well enough to win one, if not both of this weekends matchups, but special teams seemed to be the deterring factor in a 4-3 setback Saturday afternoon, and a 3-2 loss on Sunday morning.
Saturday was an excellent hockey game that saw Fraser Valley strike first courtesy of Kyle Bosko (7th) at the 4:43 mark of the 1st frame, which would be the only scoring of that period. The Thunderbirds would push their lead to two goals after Danny Choi (10th) just 2:08 into the 2nd period but just 44 seconds later, Brandon Whistle (14th) got the Rockets on the board. The home side seemed to be sparked up after that as at 13:15 of the 2nd, Ben Dietrich-Scammell (6th) tied the hockey game at deuces. The T-Birds would find the back of the net early in the 3rd period, 2:13 into the frame to be exact, on a goal by Nic Ponak (18th). Brett Clayton (13th) would get the Thunderbirds lead back to two goals after his powerplay strike. The Rockets found the back of the net one more time, as Whistle (15th) scored his second goal of the game but that would be all as the Thunderbirds came away with a 4-3 victory.
Sunday was a special teams battle as both teams were held off the scoresheet in the 1st period but the Rockets outshot the T-Birds 13-3 through 20 minutes. 3:02 into the 2nd frame, Fraser Valley scored on their first power play of the game, as Brice Sharp (16th) gave the T-Birds a 1-0 lead. The Rockets then converted on a 5-on-3 as Sam Binfet (14th) tied the game 7:22 into the middle stanza. Fraser Valley would convert on the power play, again, as Brett Clayton (14th) scored his 2nd goal of the weekend. The only even strength goal of the contest went to Levi Johnson (14th) at 14:08 of the 2nd period. There was only one goal in the 3rdperiod and the Thunderbirds were on the right side of it. Nic Ponak (19th) gave the T-Birds a 3-2 lead 12:01 into the final period of the weekend, also making the Fraser Valley power play 3/3 on the afternoon, and giving them a 3-2 win over the Rockets.
Two tough losses for the Rockets and they will look to rebound next weekend in a home and home series against the Thompson Blazers (2-31-3). The Rockets will play a rare game Friday evening at 6:30 pm at MacArthur Island, while Saturday’s game will be at the Capital News Centre, with a 3:00 pm start time,