The Okanagan Rockets came from behind three separate times to earn a valuable point in a 3-3 tie with the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds.
The Rockets, once again, dominated on the shot clock over the course of Sunday’s game but it was Fraser Valley that would tally the only goal of the 1st period. Justin Plett banged home a centering feed from Jake Mulder at the 3:01 mark of the 1st period to put the T-Birds up 1-0. Okanagan outshot FV by a 20-6 margin in the opening frame but were held of the score sheet by T-Birds net minder Jordan Naylor.
The 2nd period saw three goals combined, the first coming from the Rockets and Myles Mattila. Alec Zawatsky’s initial shot was stopped but Mattila banged home the rebound for his 3rd goal of the season at the 12:26 mark of the middle stanza. Fraser Valley would answer back with a goal just 29 seconds later thanks to a high glove shot by Justin Hargrave.
The Rockets would again tie the game later in the period after another goal-mouth scramble. Hayden Dick found a loss puck in the slot and wired home his 14th goal of the season, over the glove of Naylor with 2:35 left in the frame to tie the game at two apiece.
It would again be the Thunderbirds taking the lead at 8:06 of the final frame when Logan Hunter potted a power play goal, the first the Rockets had surrendered on the weekend. But Okanagan would again come back to tie things up on a 2-on-1 rush by Eli Zummack, who held the puck a fired a wrister past Naylor for his 9th of the season and the shorthanded marker drew things to a 3-3 tie.
That would be how things wound up as the Rockets and T-Birds tied for the 2nd straight game and third time this season (OK’s record vs. FV this year ending at 1-0-3). Jordan Naylor was outstanding in the T-Birds crease, making 46 saves on 49 shots in this one. Cole Demers came up with huge saves and finished with 22 saves on 25 shots. OK ended up outshooting the Thunderbirds by a 105-45 margin on the weekend.
The Rockets (21-10-5) play their final regular season series on the road next weekend when they travel to Kamloops to face off against the Thompson Blazers (5-24-6). As always, the games can be seen live on www.playfullscreen.com.