The Okanagan Rockets made the long ride to the Great White North of Prince George this weekend to play a weekend set against the Cariboo Cougars.
Saturday saw Cariboo strike first with a goal at the 12:35 mark of the 1st period as Mason Richey gave the home side a 1-0 advantage on a rebound off of his own shot.
The Rockets would tie the game at 1 thanks to an Alec Zawatsky marker. Zawatsky finished a play started from Matt Kowalski in the right circle (a play that also saw Rockets “AP” Jameson Murray pick up his 1st BCMML point) and his 14th goal of the season knotted things up.
The tie would only last for 5 minutes however as Daine Dubois scored what eventually would be the game winner on a shot through the five hole of Rockets goaltender Liam Hughes at the 13:29 mark of the 2nd period.
There would be no scoring in the 3rd frame as both goaltenders shut the door and it was the Cougars coming away with a 2-1 victory Saturday evening. Liam Hughes was terrific for the Rockets, going 31/33 on the day while Dorrin Luding opposed him in the Cariboo crease and made 21 saves on 22 shots.
Sunday was a much more spirited effort from the visitors, opening the scoring on the power play courtesy of a wide open Chase Stevenson, who walked down the left side and snapped home his 12th goal of the season.
Lucas Cullen would add to the lead with a shorthanded goal that bounced it’s way through Dorrin Luding for his 1st goal of the season and a 2-0 lead. Matt Kowalski chipped in his 16th goal of the season on a PP goal blocker side that gave the Rockets a 3-0 lead after two periods.
Eli Zummack put the Rockets up 4-0 on a snipe glove side for his 5th of the season. The goal came right after the Rockets had killed off a penalty. Lucas Cullen would add another goal on a scramble in front for his 2nd of the year and ended Dorrin Luding’s day as Aaron Jakubowski would enter the Cougars goal and give up a marker to Hayden Dick (7th) to give the visitors a 6-0 lead. Daine Dubois would add a late goal to break up the shutout bid as the Rockets picked up their 12th win of the season with a 6-1 victory.
Cole Demers was in goal for the Rockets Sunday morning and was brilliant, making 27 saves on 28 shots. Dorrin Luding started the day and was then relieved by Aaron Jakubowski after the Rockets 5th goal.
Okanagan had a strong weekend on the special teams, going a total of 2/8 on the man advantage while killing off an impressive 16/17 penalties over the course of the weekend set.
The split leaves the Rockets (12-7-1) in 3rd place in the BCMML, just where they were when the weekend began. OK is on the road again next weekend, heading to Nanaimo to take on the North Island Silvertips (0-0-0). Okanagan returns to CNC on December 12th for a weekend set against the South Island Royals.