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PREVIEW: Vancouver Giants vs. Kelowna Rockets (Game 60)

Marissa Baecker

Tonight at the LEC the Vancouver Giants kick off the month of March with their third final home game of the 2018-19 regular season. Tonight for the seventh time in a span of 60 games the G-Men will take the ice against the Kelowna Rockets. The Giants come into the weekend trailing the Everett Silvertips by two points for first place in the Western Conference standings while the Kelowna Rockets are five points up on Kamloops for the third playoff spot in the B.C. Division standings.

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KELOWNA ROCKETS

 OVERVIEW:

Head Coach: Adam Foote

Record: 26-29-4-1

Road Record: 14-15-2-0

Last Game: A 2-0 victory over Kamloops on Saturday, February 23 at home.

Last 10: 6-4-0-0

Goals For/Goals Against: 149 GF/183 GA (-34)

Power Play: 21.5% (13th in WHL)

Penalty Kill: 78.2% (12th in WHL)

Leading Scorers: Kyle Topping (60GP – 21G – 41A – 62PTS), Leif Mattson (60GP – 21G – 37A – 58PTS), Nolan Foote (58GP – 31G – 22A – 53PTS)

THE STREAKING FOOTE:

2000-born forward Nolan Foote has surpassed the 30-goal mark for the first time in his career. Coming into the weekend, Foote leads all Rockets in goals (31) and sits third on the team in points with 53. Foote has recorded goals in three straight games and has recorded at least one point in each of his past four contests. Of the six goals that the Rockets have scored against the Giants this season, Foote has two of them. Foote is eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft and was recently ranked as the #26 North American skater on NHL Central Scouting’s Mid-Term Rankings List.

MATTSON LIKES TO DISH:

1999-born forward Leif Mattson leads all Rockets with six points (all assists) through six games against the Vancouver Giants. Mattson comes into this game just two points shy of his previous career high (60). He’s also four goals shy of matching the 25 that he produced a season ago. Mattson has two goals and two assists for four points over the course of his past three games.

A GIANT DOSE OF BASRAN:

2001-born goaltender Roman Basran has played every second of hockey this season against the Giants. The Vancouver native has started all six meetings so far this season against the Giants and despite his 1-5 record he’s compiled a strong goals-against-average of 2.86 and a .912 save percentage. For the season Basran is 18-16-2-0 with two shutouts, a .905 save percentage and a 2.84 goals-against-average. Basran was ranked as the #11 goaltender on North America’s Mid-Term rankings list for NHL Central Scouting.

 

 

VANCOUVER GIANTS

 OVERVIEW:

Head Coach: Michael Dyck

Record: 41-14-2-2

Home Record: 23-6-1-1

Last Game: A 2-1 overtime victory over Victoria on Sunday afternoon on the road.

Last 10: 8-1-0-1

Goals For/Goals Against: 192 GF/138 GA (+54)

Power Play: 22.0% (12th in WHL)

Penalty Kill: 85.2% (2nd in WHL)

Leading Scorers: Davis Koch (59GP – 24G – 40A – 64PTS), Bowen Byram (59GP – 22G – 37A – 59PTS), Milos Roman (53GP – 23G – 34A – 47PTS)

ANOTHER STREAK FOR KOCH:

20-year-old forward Davis Koch is making the most of his final WHL campaign. The product of White Rock, B.C. comes into tonight’s game leading the Giants in goals (24), points (64), power play points (25) and multi-point games (19). Koch has recorded points in each of his past seven games and during that span has registered three goals and seven assists for 10 points. Last Sunday in Victoria, Koch assisted on both Giants goals in what ended as a 2-1 overtime victory over the Royals. In six meetings so far this season against Kelowna, Koch has recorded two goals and four assists. 14 of his 24 goals have come on home ice.

OVERTIME BO:

Sunday afternoon in Victoria Giants defenceman Bowen Byram notched his league-leading fourth overtime winning goal of the season. That goal was Byram’s 22nd of the season which puts him two goals shy of matching Kevin Connauton’s franchise record of 24 goals in a single season by a Giants defenceman. In six games this season against the Rockets, Byram has notched two goals and four assists for six points.

GIANTS NOTES:

  • The Giants are 5-0-0-1 against Kelowna this season and are 1-0-0-1 against them at home.
  • In their last 15 games against B.C. Division opponents the Giants are 13-0-0-2.
  • The Vancouver Giants have surpassed 4000 fans in seven of their past 10 home games.
  • Milos Roman leads all Giants with 10 first period goals.
  • Trent Miner is 4-0 against Kelowna with a .0.75 goals-against-average, a .967 save percentage and one shutout while David Tendeck is 1-0-0-1 against the Rockets with a 1.44 goals-against-average and a .936 save percentage and one shutout.
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