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Rockets sweep Nitros with 4-3 OT win

Kimberley out of KIJHL playoffs after putting everything on the line on Monday evening.
The Kimberley Dynamiters and the Golden Rockets shake hands at the end of the game on Monday night

It took a trip to the extra frame for the Golden Rockets to complete a sweep of the Kimberley Dynamiters on Monday night, as Keith Wake scored five minutes into overtime to end the game and the series.

Kimberley jumped to an early lead and held it through the second frame, but a third period marker from the Rockets tied up the game at 3-3, which forced overtime.

Wake took a shot from the point that redirected off a few things on its way to the net, and the puck managed to sneak by Nitro goaltender Jeremy Mousseau, who had a stellar game with 50 saves.

“Overall, it was a good game, but in the end, it wasn’t enough and that’s all that really matters right now,” said Mousseau.

It was a tough way to go out for the Nitros, especially since the team played well enough to win and, for the most part, stayed out of the penalty box—something they didn’t do in their last two games.

“They’re pretty upset so there’s not a lot you can say. I just told them they had a good game and that’s all you can say, because they did,” said Dynamiters head coach Glenn Burgess. “Five-on-five, I thought, for most of the game, we outplayed them. As soon as we give them a power play, the game changes, but other than that, I thought they did what they needed to do to win.”

Before the game, Kimberley rearguard Isaac Schacher was honoured with the Eddie Mountain Division defenceman of the year award. Schacher signed with the Victoria Royals a week ago and will likely jump up to the WHL next season.

The Rockets didn’t waste any time at the opening face-off and scored 31 seconds into the game on an effort from Connor Beauchemin.

However, ten minutes later, Golden got into some penalty trouble and presented a five-on-three opportunity for the Nitros, and Eric Buckley scored after he took the puck off the sideboards and walked into the slot.

A few minutes later, the Dynamiters put pressure on Golden goaltender James Leonard, who lost his stick in the action. Nitro defenceman Tre Mason shot the puck on net, and the rebound went right to Jason Richter, who banged in the rebound.

It looked like the Rockets managed to tie up the game before the period ended, but the referee waved it off as the puck went in after the play was stopped.

Kimberley added to their lead in the second period, when Andrew Miller banked the puck off the boards and up the ice as Brandon Bogdanek busted out of the sin bin.

Bogdanek skated in on a breakaway and beat Leonard on the stickside for a 3-1 lead five minutes into the frame.

However, the Rockets managed to chip away at their deficit and respond by the time the buzzer went.

Mousseau made a huge save on an uncovered Golden player, but the Nitros didn’t pick up Felix Larouche, who capitalized on a rebound at 2:22.

The Rockets’ deadly powerplay struck for the only time of the game in the third period, when Coltin Berard’s slap shot from the point beat Mousseau to tie everything up at 3-3.

Buckley was hauled down as he entered the offensive zone on a near breakaway, and was awarded with a penalty shot. The Nitro forward opted to try high on the glove side of Leonard, but the shot was turned away.

Things remained tied after 60 minutes, which sent the game into overtime. Five minutes into the extra frame, Wake had the puck at the point and threw an innocent-looking shot on net that was redirected on its way into the net.

Golden now plays the waiting game while the Fernie Ghostriders and the Columbia Valley Rockies scrap it out to earn a berth into the divisional final. The series is tied at 1-1, with both games requiring an overtime period.

Trevor Crawley

About the Author: Trevor Crawley

Trevor Crawley has been a reporter with the Cranbrook Townsman and Black Press in various roles since 2011.
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