The Kelowna Midget Tier 2 Rockets are on a roll at the B.C. Midget Tier 2 Hockey Championship at the Cominco Arena going undefeated in its first two matches.
The Kelowna Midget Rockets beat Trail 5-2, Sunday, before rolling over the Saanich Braves 7-2 Monday to sit atop pool B, while in the A-pool, Smithers remained unbeaten after a 10-5 win over Castlegar and a 4-0 shutout of Cranbrook on Monday.
Kelowna’s Bronson Dawson scored three times while Zak Keeler netted two goals as the Rockets erupted for five goals in the second period to take a 5-2 lead, on their way to the 7-2 victory over a strong Saanich team. The Braves led 1-0 on the only goal of the first period by Calum Brassard at 11:26, but penalty trouble and a vaunted Rockets attacked burned the Braves in the second.
James Fisher tied it on a power play at 18:26 and a goal by Keeler and two from Dawson would give Kelowna a 4-1 lead before the Braves’ Ben Dawson would cut the lead to two at 6:16.
Keeler would add another before the period was out, and Ryan Moon would make it 6-2 at 16:24, and set up Bronson Dawson for his hat trick and Moon’s third assist of the night at 4:14 to round out the scoring. The Rockets look poised for a run at the provincal championship after losing 2-1 in the final to Vancouver in last year’s championship.
Meanwhile, Smithers scored twice in the final 2:20 to seal a 4-0 victory in a tight match up with Cranbrook Monday afternoon. Jarrett Denny scored the winning goal just 63 seconds into the first period. The score would stay that way until Rylan Smaha-Muir netted one on the power play at 13:19 of the third, and Darcy Delaney and Fraser Todd would secure the win in the late going.
On Sunday morning, Trail played the Rockets close for two periods, down 3-2 heading into the third, but two unanswered goals by Landon Markosky and Keeler would seal it for Kelowna. Brendan Mackay and Mitch Titus scored for Trail with Chris Colquhoun netting two assists in the loss.
“We knew coming in that was going to be a really tough game, especially we have a little bit of history with them this year,” said Trail coach Brian Youngson. “I thought for the most part we battled hard, we haven’t played in a few weeks, I think that affected us a little bit just in terms of our sharpness, but I thought our guys battled pretty hard, I mean that’s a good hockey team,”
Sunday night against the Williams Lake Timberwolves, Quenton Lavorato scored twice and added two assists to lead the Smoke Eaters to an 8-5 victory.
Devin Ghiradosi would net the winner, corralling a rebound off the back boards and firing the puck off the back of goalie Haydon Lyons for a 6-4 lead just 47 seconds into the third.
The two teams took advantage of defensive lapses as the game remained close through two periods, with Trail leading 3-2 after the first and 5-4 at the end of the second frame.
“It wasn’t the prettiest (win),” said Youngson. “I thought we were a little better as the game wore on, so hopefully that bodes well for us Monday night.”
Lavorato (2G) Jayden Crandell, Mitch Titus (1G, 2A), Braden and Nathan McKay, and Devin Ghiradosi, (2G), scored for Trail, while, William Paynton (2G), Coring Loring (2G), and Dylan Sellars replied for Williams Lake.
Trail played Saanich Monday night but the score was unavailable at press time.
With the early loss to Kelowna, each game is a must win for the Smoke Eaters as the top two teams from each pool advance to Wednesday’s playoff.
“We need to keep getting better,” said Youngson. “I think we need to tighten up a little bit defensively, we’ve given away lots of opportunities, in both games. We need to stop giving stuff away for free, and start capitalizing a little more.”
Smithers doubled up Castlegar 10-5 on Sunday. The Jr. Rebels took a 2-1 lead into the second, and trailed 5-4 after two, but Smithers broke it open in the third, scoring five times with Mitchell Turko and Aaron Steenhof tallying two goals and an assist for Smithers, while Ren Mason netted a hat trick and added two helpers for Castlegar.
North Delta lost its first game to Saanich 6-3 and will face Trail tonight at 8 p.m. in the final game of the round robin.