After a tough start to the weekend, the Okanagan Rockets bounced back to come away from the Island with a weekend split against the North Island Silvertips.
In the Friday opener, the teams played to a scoreless first period. The second was another tight period, with the Tips going up 1-0 on a goal from Joshua Zary. In the third, North Island pulled away with three goals – on a couple of Ethan Jones markers sandwiched between another goal from Zary. That would be more than enough, as the Silvertips skated away with a 4-0 win.
On Saturday in Lake Cowichan, the Rockets got out to a 1-0 lead, thanks to a tap-in from Mitchell Gove. That lead to a goal from River Fahey, tying things up 1-1 on a Silvertips powerplay. After his line created a turnover, Jordan Lowry beat goaltender Austin Dendl, putting the Rockets up 2-1. A few minutes later, newcomer Cody Shepheard tied things at 2, in a first period that was far from over. A converted breakaway from Shepheard lead to North Island taking the first lead of the hockey game, at 3-2. But a clutch shorthanded goal from Benn Krivoshen tied the game 3-3, before Ethan Schaeffer scored with nine seconds left in the frame, giving the Rockets a 4-3 lead after 20. In the second, the Rockets tacked on one more, thanks to AP Cody Barnes’ first goal with the team. Rayman Bassi gave his team a 6-3 lead, before a shot from Brendan Boyle that appeared to go in was waved off, and ruled to be off the post. Heading into the third and down by 3, the Silvertips mounted a comeback. A tap-in from Shepheard gave him a hat trick, and cut the Rockets lead to 6-4.
The lead was further cut to 6-5, when Jones fired a puck that hit the end glass behind Schwebius, before taking a wild bounce and deflecting off the goaltender’s back and into the net. But the Rockets would ice the victory thanks to a goal from Boyle, which cemented the 7-5 win.
Both Schwebius and Dendl started both games of the weekend, with each earning a victory for their efforts.
Up next for the Rockets, they can look forward to three straight weekends in the friendly confines of the Capital News Centre.
That starts with a doubleheader against the Kootenay Ice – on Saturday at 3 and Sunday at 10.