Friday, December 12 at the Pyramid Recreation Centre in St. Marys, goaltenders Dale Gubbles of the Strathroy Rockets and Andrew Masters of the St. Marys Lincolns put on a goaltending clinic as the fourth place Rockets narrowly eked out a 3-2 overtime win over the last place Lincolns in front of 256 appreciative fans.

Masters was the busier of the two netminders as the Rockets outshot the Lincolns 52-34. Both tenders were called upon to make several high quality saves to send the low scoring affair into overtime.

Nick Griffin earned the Rockets the extra point with the overtime marker just 38 seconds into the extra frame.

The game winner came quickly off a faceoff win by the Rockets. Griffin kicked the puck back to Rocket defenseman Matt Laberge at the point. Masters stopped Laberge’s point shot but the rebound ended up on the stick of Stuart King. Under heavy coverage King attempted to dive around Masters. His shot got behind Masters but off the post. Griffin dove in behind the netminder depositing the puck into the net.

King assisted on all three Rockets goals extending his point streak to 12 games, the most by a Rocket this season.

The Rockets led 2-0 after the first period on a pair of goals by Brett Dalton. Dalton was left unattended both times in front of the net and deftly picked a corner on Masters. The Rockets enjoyed a 24-9 shot advantage in the first period. Dalton’s second marker came with the two teams playing four players aside. The Rockets are 8-3 in four on four situations this year.

The Lincolns came out with an inspired second period outshooting the Rockets 18-11. Ocean Check got them on the board early at 1:24 when he banged home a loose puck in the crease after a wild scramble in front of Gubbels.

Matt McGall tied the match at 11:15 of the third period on the powerplay when his screened shot from the point found the back of the net behind a screened Gubbels. The Rockets held a 14-7 shot advantage in the third period.

Both teams started the match with diminished rosters, the Lincolns with 13 skaters and the Rockets with 15. After game ejections to Rocket Matt Knight-Bedour and Lincoln Jack Wieringa for fighting and two checks from behind calls on Rockets Dalton Good and San Vokes, each club had just 12 skaters.

The majority of Gubbels key saves came against the Lincoln powerplay. St. Marys had 10 powerplay opportunities compared to 4 for the Rockets. The Lincolns also enjoyed three 5-on-3 powerplays but failed to score on any thanks to the superb goaltending of Gubbels.

The win moved the Rockets two points behind the struggling third place Chatham Maroons. The Rockets will play the revamped London Nationals at the WMMC the following night. The Nationals trail the Rockets by four points,

Next up for the Lincolns will be a trip to LaSalle on Wednesday.

Andrew Martin had a standout game for the Rockets on defense. The Entertainment Tonight Players of the Game for the Rockets were Gubbels, Martin and forward Eddy Schulz.

Photo: Pointstreak

David Honsberger

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