The Okanagan Rockets are sitting squarely in second place of the BCMML standings after a weekend sweep of the North Island Silvertips, extending the Rockets’ winning streak to eight games.
The Rockets got off to a strong start on Saturday afternoon, when Coleton Bilodeau converted on the powerplay just over six minutes in.
That lead was doubled up under two minutes later, when Seth Barton one-timed a shot from the left point to make it 2-0.
Grady Robertson then cut the lead when his slapper from a sharp angle caught Nik Bregeda off guard, just past the 15 minute mark.
And after the Rockets took a penalty on the next play, the Silvertips needed only five seconds of powerplay time before Jacob Gosling tied the game 2-2.In the second, the Silvertips took the lead for the first time, when Joshua Zary finished off a nice pass from Jared Winkel just over five minutes in.
But the Rockets scraped back before the period finished, as Bilodeau’s second of the night combined with Jordan Robinson’s first of the year for a 4-3 lead through 40 minutes.
In the third, the Rockets continued to pepper Spencer Deakin’s goal with shots, accumulating 45 by the final buzzer.
But the only goal of the period came from Rayman Bassi, who finished off an empty-netter with 28 seconds to play.
On Sunday morning, the Rockets also had a strong start, and picked up a 1-0 lead through the opening 20.Stevenson’s fourth of the year was on a breakaway, sprung by a nice stretch pass from new addition Isaac Dutka, off a clean faceoff win from Bilodeau.
The game opened up for five goals in the second, starting with the Rockets’ Bassi, who banged in his own rebound off a pass from Dylan Prpich.
But the Rockets got themselves into penalty trouble, and found themselves down two men less than two minutes later.
Chase Heslop cut the Rockets lead to 2-1 on the two man advantage, which was followed up by a Rick Takeda marker 59 seconds later to tie things up 2-2.
For the second straight game, the Tips scored a third straight goal, when Takeda was sent in on a solo rush by his goaltender James Brendeland, after a great stretch pass.
But the Rockets battled back to tie before the end of the period, when Max Kryski took a nice backdoor feed from Bilodeau to convert on a powerplay.
In the third, the Rockets upped the pressure with an extended shift in the offensive zone, where Brandon Della Paolera deflected in a point shot from Barton for the 4-3 lead.
The Okanagan squad finished it off three and-a-half minutes later, as a shot from Wyatt Head beat Brendeland from the outside.In the crease,
Bregeda stopped 17 of 20 shots for his win, while Partrick made 13 saves on 16 shots. On the flip side, the Rockets combined to fire 102 shots on the Deakin/Brendeland duo over the weekend.
The Rockets (9-1) will now play on the road for the next three weekends, starting with a trip to Delta on November 5 and 6 to take on the Valley West Hawks (7-2-1-2).The next home action is coming up on November 26, when the Rockets host the Thompson Blazers in the front half of a weekend home and home.You can catch all games at the CNC on Saturdays at 3 pm and Sundays at 10 am, on the PPV video feed at www.playfullscreen.com, and on our live audio broadcast at www.mixlr.com/okanaganrockets.