A double overtime goal by Rocket scoring leader TJ Harris lifted the home squad to a 3-2 win in a hard-hitting exciting match in front of 246 fans.  With the teams playing 3 skaters aside deep in the Rocket defensive zone, Harris won the faceoff back to underage defenseman Liam Whittaker and then took off down the left wing.  Whittaker chipped the puck up to Harris who outraced the King defense and then cut across the King goal slipping the puck between Komoka goaltender Reagan Gies’ pads with 45 seconds remaining in the second overtime period.  The win moved the Rockets into a 5-way tie for second place in the tight Western Conference standings.

The two teams fought through a scoreless opening period.  Joel Mazzilli sent the Kings into the second intermission with a 1-0 lead with a goal at 12:01.

Whittaker finally got the Rockets on the scoreboard at 3:31 of the third period to tie the game at 1-1.

It appeared as if the Kings had taken a 2-1 lead at 7:01 with a shorthanded breakaway goal by Isaac McLean.  The Rockets protested that the Kings had 5 skaters on the ice.  After a lengthy discussion by the on-ice officials the goal was waved off and Komoka was assessed a too-many men on the ice penalty.

Micheal Wood outfought several King defenders and tallied a dramatic tie-breaking goal at 15:07 to put the Rockets up 2-1 but Wes Dobbin tied the game at 2-2 with a screened shot through traffic on a Kings’ powerplay that found the top corner past Zack Weir at 17:51 to force overtime.

Final shots favoured the Rockets 47-40 despite trailing the Kings in shots 32-17 after two periods.  The Rockets speed, conditioning and physicality wore the Kings down.  Komoka has the second best penalty killing in the Western Conference.  The powerplay continues to be a problematic area for the Rockets.  They went 0 for 9 with the man advantage despite 18 powerplay shots on Gies.  Komoka fired 13 powerplay shots at Weir going 1 for 6.  The Rockets have manufactured just 3 powerplay goals this season on 41 opportunities (7.32%), third lowest in the GOJHL.  The Rockets won 33 of 89 faceoffs (37.1%).

Noah Campbell led the Rockets with 6 shots on goal.  Whittaker had another outstanding game with a goal and an assist, 4 shots on goal and finished a +2 on the night.  Weir was outstanding in goal stopping 3 Komoka clear-cut breakaways.  Wood, Brady MacDonald and Harris also had 4 shots on goal.

(photo credit – Colleen Wiendels Photography)

David Honsberger

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