Saturday, March 1, 2014

Rockets Edge G-Men for Second Straight Night

Goaltender Jordon Cooke was the first star for the second night in a row as the Kelowna Rockets swept a home-and-home series with the Vancouver Giants after a 3-1 victory at the Pacific Coliseum on Saturday. Cain Franson had the lone Vancouver goal in the losing cause.

Jared Rathjen was called into action early in the game with a scramble around the Vancouver net, but he kept the puck out with both Myles Bell and Ryan Olsen whacking away at the puck, to keep the game scoreless. Cooke responded with a couple of big stops of his own at the other end of the ice, robbing Franson with the left pad before make a big right pad save on Dalton Sward. However, it was the Giants who struck first on a power play as Franson showed incredible patience as he held onto the puck and cut into the slot before beating Cooke on the backhand to put the Vancouver club ahead on the scoreboard.

Franson had a chance to extend the lead early in the middle frame when he accelerated past the defence and in cleanly on net, but Cooke stood tall again with a big save. The Rockets would tie the game a few minutes later when Rourke Chartier whacked a puck past Rathjen after a nice pass from behind the net off the stick of Nick Merkley. Former Giant Marek Tvrdon went on to gave Kelowna the lead when he scored on a nice shot from the right circle that found the top corner of the net. The Giants nearly evened the score with a number of good chances late in the stanza. Shaun Dosanjh and Ty Ronning both hit goal posts while Cooke had to make a number of big saves to preserve the Kelowna lead.

Rathjen was tested again in the third period when he came up with a tremendous stop on Merkley, sliding across to his right to kick the puck out. The Rockets extended the lead later in the frame when Cole Linaker scored from the slot to give the Kelowna club some necessary insurance. The Giants had a power play right after the goal, and Carter Popoff nearly scored on a frantic play in the crease that saw the puck bounce off the cross-bar and out. The Rockets would go on to kill off the penalty and close out the road win.

Both teams went 1-for-4 on their respective power plays while the Giants out shot the Rockets 33-28.

Vancouver will host Kamloops on Wednesday evening at the Rink on Renfrew. Face-off is set for 7:00pm. For tickets, call 604-4-GIANTS or visit

Game Summary

3 Stars:
1. Jordon Cooke - Kelowna
2. Ty Ronning - Vancouver
3. Rourke Chartier - Kelowna

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