Saturday, December 28, 2013

Rockets Double Giants at Coliseum

In their first game back after the holidays, the Vancouver Giants lost 4-2 to the WHL leading Kelowna Rockets at the Pacific Coliseum on Saturday night. Anthony Ast and Jackson Houck scored for the G-Men in the loss while the the Rockets picked up their 14th consecutive victory.

The first period was a hard fought one with both teams generating opportunities, but neither side found the net. Justin Kirkland had Kelowna's best chance when he missed a tap-in at the left post on a shorthanded three-on-one while Luca Leone came close to breaking the deadlock for the Giants when he was stopped from close range by Rockets net minder Jordon Cooke.

Ast gave the Giants the lead 41 seconds into the second period when he found a rebound at the left post and shovelled the puck past Cooke for his fourth of the season. The Rockets responded on the power play just after the five minute mark as Colton Heffley knocked a loose puck between the legs of Jared Rathjen to tie the game. Cooke was called into action later in the stanza when the Giants went to the man advantage, making a pair of big stops on Houck and Carter Popoff to keep the game tied. The Rockets went ahead on a power play goal off the stick of Tyson Baillie late in the frame, and Tyrell Goulbourne would have given the Kelowna club a 3-1 lead before the intermission if not for a fantastic glove save from Rathjen to take away a goal and send the Giants to the dressing room down by one.

Cole Linaker would extend the lead for the Rockets early in the third, scoring while the Kelowna club was down a man. Houck pulled the G-Men to within one again when he rippled the mesh after a pretty move off an odd-man rush, but Madison Bowey restored the Rockets' two-goal lead with a long slap shot from the point on the power play. There was a skirmish later in the stanza after Shaun Dosanjh laid an open ice hit on Kris Schmidli of the Rockets. Dosanjh was given five and a game for a head check. The Giants killed off the ensuing five-minute power play but couldn't stage a comeback.

The Giants will get right back at it on Sunday evening when they visit the Kamloops Blazers. Catch the call on TEAM 1410 and The Pre-Game Show begins at 5:30pm, followed by the opening face-off at 6 o'clock.

Game Summary

3 Stars:
1. Tyson Baillie - Kelowna
2. Anthony Ast - Vancouver
3. Justin Kirkland - Kelowna

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