The Okanagan Rockets continued their season of strong play, knocking off the South Island Royals in a pair of games on the weekend.
On Saturday afternoon in Sooke, the Rockets came out firing on all cylinders, putting four on the board in the first period to take a big lead after 20 minutes.
Will Reimer lead off the scoring with his first goal as a Rocket, and was followed up by Coleton Bilodeau, Jeff Karpowich, and Max Kryski.
In the second, Mitchell Gove extended the lead to 5-0, with his goal just 40 seconds into the period.
And Cody Schiavon netted one nine minutes later, extending the Rockets lead to 6-0 through 40 minutes.
The Rockets made it a seven goal lead in the third on a goal from Dylan Prpich, but had their bid for a shutout broken with less than four minutes to go, when Sean Strange got the Royals’ only goal on the afternoon.
The game saw Owen Partrick score his eighth win with a 20-save performance, while the Rockets absolutely peppered Royals goaltender Connor Cheyne with 62 shots in the win.
Sunday afternoon’s rematch in Langford was a different game altogether, and saw the Rockets head into the first intermission with only a one goal lead, after Seth Barton opened the scoring early in the frame.
In the second, it was the Royals who would hold off the Rockets and manage to storm back, scoring twice in 32 seconds, with goals from Alexander Benger and Bryson Hines.
But the Rockets would tie up the score before intermission with Bilodeau’s second of the weekend, giving him a tie for the team lead in goals with Kryski at 11.
In the third, the teams couldn’t solve one another for nearly 15 minutes, before Tanner Bahm and Eli Zummack had goals 25 seconds apart, giving the Rockets a 4-2 lead.
With just over two minutes left, Joe Leakey brought the Royals back within a goal, to set up a thrilling finale.With the final seconds winding down, Brendan Martin was sprung on a breakout pass, and hauled down on his way to the Rockets goal.
After going down, Martin was awarded a penalty shot that would be the final play of regulation, as the clock ran down to 0 on the previous play.
Needing a goal to send the game to overtime, Martin was stonewalled by Nik Bregeda, who handed the Rockets the weekend sweep, preserving the 4-3 win.
Bregeda’s sixth win was secured by only 11 saves on the day, while Luke Sheldrake made 42 stops in a losing effort.
The Rockets (14-2) return to the Capital News Centre for the first time since October this weekend, when they host the Thompson Blazers (2-14) on Saturday afternoon, before the two teams finish off the home and home series in Chase on Sunday morning.
You can catch the games on Saturday at 3:00 pm and Sunday at 11:00 am, on the PPV video feed at www.playfullscreen.com, and on our live audio broadcast at