Trailing 4-1 after minutes, the Cariboo Cougars reminded everyone why they are the top team in the BCMML this season as they scored 3 times in the final frame and forced the Rockets to settle for a 4-4 tie in the regular season's last contest.
Game number 40 literally had it all. Both Jordan Reynolds and Griffen Outhouse made some tremendous saves, there were pretty goals, and even some good old fashioned rough stuff in the final period.
Scoring for the Rockets were Brandon Whistle (18th), Binfet x 2 (18,19, and Tre Doyon (5th).
Jordan Reynolds stopped 36 of 40 as he earned his 2nd straight start of the weekend after turning aside 35 of 37 in Saturday's 4-2 win.
The Rockets earned 3 of 4 points on the weekend with the Cougars and head coach Simon Ferguson was pleased with what he saw. "We gave a real good hockey team a tough time this weekend. We pushed our players to compete harder and play some playoff like hockey and I thought they really responded well. Hopefully we can continue that same solid play next weekend in the opening round."
The defending BCMML champs learned after the game that they will host the Greater Vancouver Canadians in the opening round. The Rockets had mixed results against the Canadians in the regular season series, and they know that they have a long road in front of them if they hope to defend their crown. "I think 8 really good hockey teams got into the playoffs this year, it will interesting to see it all unfold because I think there a number of teams, us included that could get hot and win the whole thing."
Coming off a record setting season one year ago, this season's version of the Rockets did just fine. The Rockets finished the regular season with a record of 23-12-5, good for 51 points. They also secured home-ice advantage for round 1, which could prove to be the difference in a tight series. The Rockets finished the season with a tidy record of 13-5-2 at the CNC, good for a .700 winning %.
Round 1 games will be held at CNC 2, as the Rockets make way for a major figure skating event. "It sort of feels like you are giving up the master bedroom at home when family comes to visit" said Rockets GM David Michaud. "We could have explored Prospera, or West Kelowna, but at the end of the day we felt staying in our rink would be best, even if we are on the smaller side. It should make for some great atmosphere.
Game 1 of the best of three series goes this Friday night at 8:15. Game 2 is scheduled for 5:15 pm on Saturday, and if necessary, game 3 would go 10:15 am on Sunday.