Saturday, March 15, 2014

Vancouver Drops Final Game in Kelowna

The Vancouver Giants dropped their final game of the regular season on Saturday night, falling 5-3 to the Kelowna Rockets at Prospera Place. Jackson Houck had two goals for the G-Men while Joel Hamilton also found the net. Vancouver finishes the year with a record of 32-29-7-4.

The G-Men got out to a good start, pressuring the Rockets in their own zone and generating turnovers on the forecheck. Houck opened the scoring at the 4:28 mark when he beat Kelowna goalie Jordon Cooke up high with a shot from the high slot. The home team would equalize before the end of the period as Madison Bowey hammered a hard slap shot off both posts and into the Vancouver net past Payton Lee.

Houck put the Giants ahead again just 17 seconds into the middle frame when he scored his 34th of the season on a power play, deflecting Mason Geertsen's point shot past Cooke from the top of the crease. The Rockets would tie the game again though when Lee came out of his net to play the puck and gave it away to Tyrell Goulbourne. The Kelowna forward then centred the puck to Carter Rigby who rippled the mesh from the bottom of the right circle. Nick Merkley gave the Rockets the lead less than three minutes later when he chipped home a rebound off the rush. 

Rourke Chartier extended the Kelowna lead in the final frame, capitalizing on a loose puck to the right of the net after a long shot off the stick of Damon Severson. Vancouver pulled back to within one goal when Hamilton scored a power play, knocking a loose puck in the crease across the goal line. However, the Rockets re-established the two goal lead just 16 seconds later when Rigby tallied his second of the game.

Despite the loss, Vancouver went 2-for-3 on the White Spot power play while the Rockets were 1-for-1. Kelowna out shot the Giants 40-32.

The Giants will now turn their focus to the playoffs as they'll visit the Portland Winterhawks for Game 1 of the first round on Friday. Catch the call on TEAM 1040 and The Pre-Game Show begins at 6:00pm, followed by the face-off at 7 o'clock.

3 Stars:
1. Carter Rigby - Kelowna
2. Jackson Houck - Vancouver
3. Joe Gatenby - Kelowna

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