They needed overtime and shootout, but the Rockets swept the weekend.
The Rockets were able to get some revenge on the Silvertips on Friday led by a goal and an assist from Colton Dach and strong goaltending from Talyn Boyko to win 4-3 in a shootout. The top team in the Western Conference beat the Rockets 6-2 on Sunday before falling in the shootout less than a week later.
In a back and forth affair that the Rockets never trailed in, they got goals in regulation from Colton Dach, Gabriel Szturc, and Nolan Flamand. The Silvertips responded with goals from Austin Roest, Ryan Hofer, and Olen Zellweger.
Zellweger lead the Silvertips offensively. He had a goal and assisted on Roest’s and Hofer’s.
The Rockets dominated the first outshooting the Silvertips 15-9, however, the Silvertips took over in the second. They outshot the Rockets 12-5 during the second, 12-6 in the third and 4-1 in overtime. Boyko made 27 saves to keep the Rockets in the game in regulation.
The Silvertips sent Zellweger, Jackson Berezowski, and Alex Swetlikoff, but Boyko made all three saves. The Rockets got a shootout goal from Pavel Novak while Andrew Cristall and Gabriel Szturc were stopped by Braden Holt. Holt made 24 saves in regulation for the Silvertips.
Rockets Coach Kris Mallette was pleased.
“We hung on in the second”, Mallette told Kelownarockets.com “But I wanted leading or tied heading into the third.”
Mallette also loved the atmosphere.
“That was as close to a playoff atmosphere as we have had so far. We have had some very good battles with Kamloops so far. But this is a really good hockey there. Credit to our guys. I said we can play and we did.”
On Saturday, Pavel Novak got a hat trick, including the overtime winner, and an assist to lead the Rockets to a 5-4 OT win over the Tri-City Americans. He is now up to 22 goals on the season.
Despite the Rockets playing well, they were down 2-1 going into the third. Novak told KelownaRockets.com, although it was a rough 40 minutes, but they found a way to win.
“Not every night will be what you want, but we found a way to win. We were patient. We know we are a very good team. Coach was not very happy for us and we came out a different team in the third.”
Late in the game, Colton Dach received a 5 minute major and a game misconduct for checking to the head. This meant Novak needed a new lineman. The Rockets turned to Andrew Cristall who would set up Novak on a power play goal to make it 4-3 at 13:38 of the third period. Then at 18:39, Novak returned the favour by setting up Cristall to tie the game. In the extra frame, Cristall set up Novak for the game winner and the Rockets skated away with a 5-4 win.
Mark Liwiski and Jake Lee each had two assists. Jari Kykkanen made 30 saves for the win. Parker Bell had two assists for the Americans while Tomas Suchanek made 36 saves to take the loss for the Americans.
The Rockets are now 26-11-1-3. Their 56 points are good for fifth in the Western Conference and the B.C. Division. They play the Prince George Cougars at Prospera Place in Wednesday.