The Okanagan Rockets hit a speed bump in their 2016 success over the weekend, being swept by the first place Valley West Hawks on the lower mainland.
The Hawks opened the scoring on Saturday’s game, played at the Sungod Arena in Delta, as defensemen Colten Gerlib gave Valley West a 1-0 lead after one period of play. Each of the teams were held off the score sheet in the 2nd period but made up for it in the 3rd frame. Colten Bilodeau would get the Rockets tied, scoring his 5th goal of the season, before the Hawks pulled away, getting goals from Justyn Gurney and Ian Ross before a Ben Evanish empty net goal to seal a 4-1 victory for the home side Hawks.
Sunday’s game was back in the familiar confines of the Langley Events Centre and the Hawks responded, scoring the game’s first two games. James Malm and affiliate player Max Duchnycz scored the Valley West goals to give the home side a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes. The Rockets would get back to within one goal and earn the only tally of the middle stanza and it came courtesy of Eli Zummack, netting his 8th goal of the season. Malm would get his 2nd of the period just 54 seconds into the frame and would get his hat trick goal just over five minutes later to give the Hawks a 4-1 advantage. Jordan Todd potted his 9th goal of the season to put Okanagan within two before an empty netter by Michael Farren sealed the win for the Hawks and the weekend sweep with a 5-2 victory.
Cole Demers was saddled with the unfortunate losses over the weekend while Nic Tallarico and Reece Klassen each earned a win over the two game set.
The Rockets (21-10-3) return home to Capital News Centre for Valentine’s Day weekend when there will surely be no love lost between the Rockets and the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds (14-14-6). Game times are set for 3:00 pm on Saturday afternoon and 10:00 am Sunday morning. All games are available to be watched live on www.playfullscreen.com.