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PREVIEW: Giants at Rockets (Game #18)

Tonight in Kelowna the Vancouver Giants kick off a stretch of three games in a span of three nights when they battle the Rockets at Prospera Place. These two teams meet tonight for the first of eight meetings on the season and a victory tonight for the Giants would push them to within two points of second place in the B.C. Division.

GAME NOTES

 

KELOWNA ROCKETS

 OVERVIEW:

Head Coach: Jason Smith

Record: 8-6-2-1

Home Record: 4-3-0-1

Last 10: 4-4-2-0

Last Game: A 4-2 loss in Victoria last Saturday

Goals For/Goals Against: 63/63

Power Play: 25.3% (9th in WHL)

Penalty Kill: 76.3% (15th in WHL)

Leading Scorers: Kole Lind (17GP – 9G – 19A – 28PTS), Dillon Dube (15GP – 7G – 11A – 18PTS), Kyle Topping (17GP – 7G – 11A – 18PTS)

 WHO’S UP FRONT:

Kole Lind: The Vancouver Canucks prospect has points in each of the past four games. In that span he’s recorded a goal and five assists. He leads the Rockets with 28 points in 17 games.

Dillon Dube: The Calgary Flames prospect represented Canada at last year’s World Juniors and looks poised to do so again this season. He currently sits second in scoring for the Rockets with seven goals and 11 assists for 18 points in 17 games.

WHO’S ON D:

Cal Foote:  The elder of the two Foote brothers was selected 14th overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2017 NHL Draft. He leads all Rocket blueliners with five goals and 10 assists for 15 points this season.

Gordie Ballhorn: The 20-year-old is tops on the Rockets with a +14 rating. He’s got a goal and 11 assists for 12 points on the season and has 25 penalty minutes to his credit – Third most on the team.

 WHO’S IN GOAL:

James Porter: The 17-year-old comes into tonight’s game with a 5-2-2-0 record, a 3.23 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage. He’s won four of his past five starts (4-0-1-0 in that span).

X-FACTOR:

Carson Twarynski: The 20-year-old Philadelphia Flyers draft pick is tied for the team lead in goals with nine. At 6’2”, 200 pounds Twarynski plays a physical, two-way game that is difficult to defend. Four of his nine goals have come via the power play.

 

 

VANCOUVER GIANTS

 OVERVIEW:

Head Coach: Jason McKee

Record: 6-8-1-2

Road Record: 4-4-1-2

Last 10: 4-4-1-1

Last Game: A 5-4 road victory Saturday in Kamloops

Goals For/Goals Against: 61/67

Power Play: 13.4% (22nd in WHL)

Penalty Kill: 78.2% (9th in WHL)

Leading Scorers: Ty Ronning (17GP – 15G – 9A – 24PTS), Brad Morrison (17GP – 4G – 14A – 18PTS), James Malm (17GP – 4G – 11A – 15PTS)

WHO’S UP FRONT:

Ty Ronning: The New York Rangers prospect is scorching hot. He’s got nine goals and six assists for 15 points in his past seven games. He leads the Giants in scoring with 15 goals and 24 points.

Tyler Benson: The Giants captain broke out last Saturday with a goal and two assists. His three point game now has him clicking at a point-per-game pace. He’s got two goals and two assists for four points in four games and should only get better as he gets more confidence brewing.

WHO’S ON D:

Darian Skeoch: After a four-game suspension, Darian Skeoch returns to the Giants lineup tonight. The 20-year-old veteran brings size, leadership and stability to the Giants back-end and will be a welcomed addition, particularly given how skilled the Kelowna Rockets are up front.

Matt Barberis: The 19-year-old has recorded points in each of his past four games. During that span he’s got two goals and five assists for seven points. He’s tied for the team lead in scoring among defencemen with 12 points.

WHO’S IN GOAL:

Todd Scott?: The rotation would suggest it’s David Tendeck’s turn, but Scott was named first star in Saturday’s win in Kamloops. He made 43 saves in that game and improved his record to 3-4-1-1 with a 3.52 goals-against-average and an .892 save percentage.

 X-FACTOR:

 James Malm: The third year forward comes into tonight’s game with four goals and 11 assists for 15 points. He led all Giants last season with two goals and six assists against the Rockets. His confidence is sky-high right now and a big game on the road would be a big boost for the G-Men tonight

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