The unfamiliar rhythms and roster of a team from out of their conference did not bode well for the Sicamous Eagles when the Columbia Valley Rockies came to town on Saturday Jan. 18.
The Rockies jumped out in front early in the game and held on to record a 5-3 victory over the Eagles. The teams each put a goal on the board in the opening period, as Liam Wong got the Rockies off to an early lead and Owen Spannier potted the equalizer for Sicamous (assisted by Trevor Ebeling and Carter Courtney) in the final minutes of the first frame.
The Rockies made full use of a pair of Eagles penalties in the opening five minutes of the second period, surging ahead to a 3-1 lead. Seconds after the Rockies third goal, Brayden Haskell capitalized on a play set up by Isaac Thomas and Jakob McLean to make it clear the home team would make a game out of it. Hunter Rambow of the Rockies scored late in the second to leave the score 4-2 as the teams headed to the dressing room for the second intermission.
In the third, Loclyn Kabatoff put the Rockies three goals ahead just before the halfway point of the period, leaving the Eagles with a deep hole to climb out of and a short clock to do it with. The last movement on the scoreboard was Carter Courtney’s first goal for the Eagles, which he scored on the power play in the games final minute.
With just over a month left in the regular season, and a 12-24-1-0 record, the Eagles have eight points in the standings to make up if they hope to catch their nearest divisional rivals, the Kamloops Storm. A mighty effort will be required down the stretch if they hope to secure a playoff berth.
The first step in mounting a comeback crusade for the Eagles will be a showdown with the North Okanagan Knights at the Nor-Val Centre in Armstrong on Friday, Jan. 24. The Eagles have played the Knights twice this season and each team has earned a win. The Knights have taken a league standings pummeling similar to the one the Eagles have endured leaving them with a 11-21-1-0 record and fourth place in the Bill Ohlhausen Division.
Following the matchup agianst North Okanagan, the Eagles will host the Summerland Steam on Jan. 25. The Eagles have fared well against the Steam, pulling off a 5-4 overtime win in Summerland in December and then beating them 6-3 at home on Jan. 11.