Make it four straight victories for the Vancouver Giants on home ice! Saturday night in front of 3587 strong at the Langley Events Centre the Vancouver Giants (10-9-2-2) downed the Kelowna Rockets (12-7-2-1) by a 6-1 score. Tyler Benson (two goals, one assist) and James Malm (one goal, two assists) led the charge offensively for the Giants while goaltender David Tendeck turned aside 26 of the 27 shots he faced to earn his third victory between the pipes. Ty Ronning extended his goal-scoring streak to 10 straight games for the Giants while under-age forward Justin Sourdif was impressive in his WHL debut after being selected third overall by the Giants in 2017. Kelowna’s lone goal came in the third period courtesy of Marek Skvrne when they trailed 5-0.
After a tough 6-2 loss a night ago, Jason McKee’s Giants burst out of the gate with four unanswered first period tallies. Brad Morrison got the offense started at 10:09 on a five-on-three power play when he one-timed home a perfect pass from Dylan Plouffe past Rockets starter James Porter for his seventh of the season. On the same power play sequence Tyler Benson made it 2-0 when he tipped home a pass from James Malm in front of the Kelowna goal for his first of two goals on the night.
Ty Ronning made it 3-0 for the G-Men when he shimmied his way past a Rocket defender and placed a perfect shot past the stick of Porter and home for his team-leading 23rd of the season. Ronning’s goal extended his goal-scoring streak to 10 straight games.
A minute and nine seconds later Tyler Popowich made it 4-0 Giants when he backhanded home a pass from Brayden Watts in close on the Kelowna goal. Shots were 18-10 after one for the Giants.
Kelowna made a goaltending change in the second period electing to give 16-year-old Roman Basran his first taste of WHL action. Basran would finish the night with 17 saves on 19 shots faced.
One of his early tests though got by him as James Malm increased Vancouver’s lead to 5-0 just a minute and 32 seconds into the second period. Dylan Plouffe started the play with a shot from the left point. The point shot was deflected by Tyler Benson right to Malm in front of the net, and from there the 18-year-old Langley product tucked home his 11th of the season to make it 5-0, which is how the second period would end.
At 6:18 of the third period the Rockets got their lone goal of the night when Marek Skvrne snuck his first ever WHL goal past a sprawled David Tendeck on the power play. Moments later the Rockets had a chance to inch closer but Rockets forward Kyle Topping missed wide on a penalty shot opportunity at 7:28 of the third which kept the game at 5-1.
With time winding down in the third the Giants cemented their victory when Tyler Benson buried his second of the night at 15:39. James Malm started the play by drawing a penalty off a clear-cut breakaway. Malm then spun and found Benson who scored his sixth of the season off the left wing.
The final shots were 37-27 for the Giants who finished the night two-for-two on the power play while the Rockets went one-for-three on their man advantage chances.
With the victory the Giants move within three points of Kelowna for second in the B.C. Division while remaining two points ahead of the Prince George Cougars for third place. The Giants have just one regulation loss to their credit in their past seven games and they are 5-1-1-0 in that span.
Up next: the Lethbridge Hurricanes Wednesday night at the Langley Events Centre.
– In his past 10 games, Ty Ronning has scored 13 goals while adding five assists for 18 points. He’s scored at least once in each of those 10 games. He currently sits seventh in WHL scoring with 23 goals and 11 assists.
– Tyler Benson has recorded nine points over his past four games. During that span he’s scored two goals while adding six assists.
– David Tendeck has earned three straight victories in goal for Vancouver and has stopped 94 of the last 98 shots he’s faced.
– The Kelowna Rockets were missing a handful of regulars from their lineup. Forwards Kole Lind, Dillon Dube, Nolan Foote, Jack Cowell, and Erik Gardiner were all scratched.