Saturday, March 15, 2014

Giants Comeback Falls Short Against Rockets

The Kelowna Rockets scored five goals in the second period en route to a 6-5 win over the Vancouver Giants at the Pacific Coliseum on Friday night. Vancouver trailed 6-1 after 40 minutes but battled back with four goals in the third period.

16-year-old goaltender Ryan Kubic was called into action early in the first period after Payton Lee left the game following a collision with Kelowna's Madison Bowey. Vancouver found the net first later in the frame when Ty Ronning beat Rockets goalie Jackson Whistle with a one-timer and a nice pass from behind the net by Joel Hamilton. Kubic came up big to keep Vancouver ahead when he robbed Rourke Chartier with a confident left pad save after a pretty cross-seam pass by Marek Tvrdon. The Rockets would tie the game before the end of the period though as Myles Bell found the net on a long shot from the high slot on a power play.

The Rockets ran away with the second period, scoring five goals and out shooting Vancouver 17-5. Justin Kirkland gave Kelowna the lead when he got in behind the Giants defence and scored on a breakaway on Kubic. Chartier made it 3-1 with a pretty deflection in the slot before Kirkland scored again, this time shorthanded, on an impressive deke as he cut to the net off the right wing and tucked it into the net. Madison Bowey added his name to the scoresheet with a pair of goals late in the period as he found the net on a couple of point shots, one of which came on the power play, to put Kelowna ahead 6-1.

Hamilton started the Vancouver comeback attempt early in the final frame when he scored from the high slot after Brett Kulak found him in front with a pass from behind the goal. Dmitry Osipov added his third goal of the campaign with a hard shot from the point that snuck inside the left post. Ronning netted his second of the night on a man advantage as he shovelled a rebound that was loose in the crease across the goal line. Jackson Houck pulled the Vancouver squad to within one goal when he scored shorthanded, out-waiting Whistle as he skated down the right wing and beating him cleanly with a well-placed wrister. Houck nearly tied the game for Vancouver in the late stages. With Kubic out of the net in favour of an extra attacker, Houck had a chance in front but hammered the puck off the post. It was as close as the Giants would come.

Despite the loss, the Giants out shot the Rockets 34-30. Vancouver was 1-for-4 on the White Spot power play while the Rockets were 2-for-5.

The two teams will wrap-up the regular season on Saturday night when they face each other again in Kelowna. Catch the action on TEAM 1040 and The Pre-Game Show is set to begin at 6:30pm, followed by the face-off at 7 o'clock.

Game Summary

3 Stars:
1. Madison Bowey - Kelowna
2. Ty Ronning - Vancouver
3. Justin Kirkland - Kelowna

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