The following night the Rockets faced the second place Leamington Flyers at the WMMC in front of 226 fans.  The Rockets had a great chance to upset the Flyers as Leamington was short of players only dressing 14 skaters.  The Rockets dressed a full roster but were without their top defenseman Brady MacDonald.  The Flyers, who have been playing very well recently, played a slow, patient game in the first period.  They slowed down the tempo, played sound defensive hockey, conserved their energy and waited patiently for an opportunity to pounce.  After a scoreless opening period the Flyers found their opportunity to attack and scored five straight goals over a span of 4:29, four of them in 1:46 to build an insurmountable lead.  Rocket goaltender Michelizzi was chased after the fourth goal and relieved by Josh Diamond.  The Rockets tried to rally in the third period on a pair of goals by Harris but the Flyers responded with a pair of their own goals to put the game out of reach.  The 7-2 Flyer win moved them to within one point of the idle first place London Nationals.

Flyer captain Zach Guilbeault tallied twice for his club.  Griffin Robinson, Maddux Rychel, Jaydon Fetter, Dylan Weston and Josh Pope-Ferguson rounded out the scoring for the Flyers.  The Rockets managed to outshoot the Flyers 44-37 but Conner Meyerink was solid in goal for the Flyers.  The Flyers went 1 for 6 on 8 shots with the man advantage while the Rockets were 0 for 4 on 1 shot. Robinson led the Flyers with 7 shots on goal.  Fetter had 5.  Harris paced the Rockets with 6 shots and Cameron Rombouts, who was stoned in the second period by Meyerink, had 5 shots.  For the second straight game the Rockets dominated the faceoff circle winning 44 of 77 draws (57.1%).  Bastlow led the Rockets going 11-4 (73.3%), while Allen 12-5 (70.5%) and Byrne 13-8 (61.9%) also had stellar evenings.  The Flyers won the season series 5-1.  After winning 7 consecutive season series from the Flyers, Leamington have taken the last six.  Prior to the game the Poag Jewelers Player of the Month for January was underage forward Emmet Pierce.  The Rockets will be idle until they face London at the WMMC on Saturday, February 17.

(photo credit – Colleen Wiendels Photography)

David Honsberger

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