The Golden Rockets put up a good fight, but even with their large size and remarkable goalie, they could not put the brakes on the Rebels as they peppered the goalie with 55 shots to win 7-4. The game last Saturday, Feb. 6 was a welcomed reprieve from a disappointing 5-3loss to Nelson the night before.
The Rockets were first on the scoreboard five minutes into the game with a goal by Layne Hunter and assisted by Terix Fischer-Kobes.The Rebels were unable to score in the first period even with 15 shots on net. Rockets goaltender Owen Sikkes was awarded the Away Starpost game. And right from the get go, Rebels’ sharp shooters knew they were dealing with a serious foe.
However, by the second period Sikkes showed he had weaknesses. The Rebels force began to strong-arm the Rockets down. Takingcontrol of the game to the degree that by the third period the Rockets were low on fuel, and they tumbled and fumbled to the ice.
The Rebels’ scoring lines and defencemen began working harder as a team after the first period. The Chris Breese, Mike Bhatoa andTayden Woods line would score within the first three minutes of play in the second period and within the first two minutes of play in thethird period. Both of these early period goals resulted in a driving momentum that carried through to all the team members.
The Ed Lindsey, Darren Medeiros and Vince Bitonti line was a force to be reckoned with. And although Lindsey only scored once, he wasgiven the Home Star award for his instrumental input. Bitonti would claim three assists. Along with Medeiros, they were constantly fore-checking and attacking the Rockets in their own zone, leaving them unable to develop any meaningful plays.
Throw in Nick Headrick and a little Zach Smith and you had Rebels’ goals piling up at the most fortunate of times. The Rebels scored fivetimes in the third period as the Rockets defence and goalie began to break down. The Golden coach called a time-out late in the thirdperiod in an attempt to trigger some sort of comeback. The Rockets goalie was pulled in the final minutes of play to give them a six onfive man advantage. But with a net devoid of a goalie, the Rebels scored two more times. Morgan Scriber put the final goal in the net forthe Rebels assisted by Nick Headrick and Zach Smith with only seven seconds left in the game. Final score was 7-4 for the Rebels.
Rebels Tayden Woods did not score any goals but had three assists to notch on his stick. He is a rookie player who is ranked third in theleague in point standings. In 46 games he has scored 27 goals and 37 assists for a total of 64 points. The league top scorer RainerGlimpel from the Osoyoos Coyotes is front running with 70 points, only seven ahead of Woods.
The Rebels were missing quite a few players in their line-up for the game. There were the players with minor injuries plus two of theRebels’ strongest players suspended. Both Daniel Petten and Tyler Barrett are in the middle of a five game suspension from the KIJHL fortheir roles in instigating fighting at the now infamous 5-3 win in Nelson on Jan. 29. Petten had also received a major penalty for checkingfrom behind. While Barrett was involved in multiple fights within the same stoppage of play. Both players will be back on the ice Feb. 16to play in Grand Forks against the third ranked Border Bruins who are behind the second place Rebels in the Neil Murdock Division of theKIJHL. Hopefully the five game suspensions will have cooled down the fire in their fists.
“We had a slow start, but we kept peppering the goalie and eventually we got the win,” admitted Rebels centre forward Chris Breese, whofinished the game with two goals.
Home Star Ed Lindsey remarked, “We only had the nine forwards tonight. With only three lines everybody had to pull their weight.”
Assistant coach Keegan Little had some positive criticisms. “It was a tough game. We put a lot of rubber on the net. Their goalie playedwell. In the end we got the two points. That’s all that matters. As a coach we can watch the game tape and there is a lot of things we canwork on. We definitely did things right but still there were a lot of things we can take out from this game and bring to practise and workon and get better.”
The Rebels play the Nelson Leafs twice this coming weekend Feb. 12 and 13. Friday’s game is at the Castlegar Complex, while Saturdaythe game will be played at the Nelson Arena. The puck drop is at 7 p.m. for both games.