The Okanagan Rockets prevailed in a thrilling 2-1 shootout win Wednesday night against the Burnaby Winter Club in their first game of the 2016 KIMMT.
Despite a low scoring affair, this game was packed full of exciting and nerve racking moments and didn’t see any scoring after the first period in what was more of a feeling out process between the two sides. Both goaltenders, Cole Demers for the Rockets and Bradley Cooper for BWC were on point in the first twenty minutes of action.
The 2nd period is when the scoring started to happen and it was kicked off by Hayden Dick on a partial break. Dick corralled a bouncing puck on a bit of a broken play on the BWC blue line and backhanded home the first goal of the tournament at the 14:09 mark of the 2nd frame. That would be all for the scoring for the 2nd as Cole Demers continued to impressed and keep BWC at bay.
BWC would tie the game early in the 3rd period on a man advantage. BWC’s leading scorer Angus Crookshank let go of a shot from the right circle and beat a screened Demers to tie the game at one and it lasted that way for 60 minutes as both teams would pick up a point in the standings and head off to overtime.
3-on-3 overtime is something new to the Rockets and it was exhilarating, including a 2-on-0 opportunity for the Rockets that could not be capitalized on and the game had to go into a shootout. BWC’s Brady Chin would score putting the Rockets down to their last shooter when Hayden Dick kept the shootout alive. Nolan Welsh again put BWC ahead in the shootout but this time Zach Erhardt keep things going with a goal of his own and finally, in the 8th round of the shootout, Jordan Todd went top shelf to give the Rockets the thrilling 2-1 victory.
Cole Demers was outstanding for the Rockets, making 29 saves on 30 shots while Bradley Cooper was also very strong for BWC, stopping 17 of 18 shots thrown his way. Players of the game were Angus Crookshank for BWC and Lucas Cullen for OK.
The Rockets are back in action tomorrow morning at 8:30 am from the Rutland Arena-West when they take on the Delta Wild Hockey Academy for the first of two games for the club on Thursday as they also take on the Okanagan Hockey Academy’s Red Prep team at 4:30 pm from Memorial Arena.