Of the first 18 games for the Vancouver Giants in 2017-18, 12 games have been decided by a single goal. Friday night at Prospera Place in Kelowna, the Vancouver Giants came from behind and earned a single point in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Rockets. Carson Twarynski ended the game at 2:07 of overtime for the Rockets off a two-on-one rush. Brad Morrison paced the Giants attack with a goal and two assists while Milos Roman (three assists), Tyler Benson (two goals) and Ty Ronning (one goal, one assist) chimed in with multi-point games. Between the pipes Giants starter Todd Scott turned aside 30 of the 35 shots fired his way while fellow 17-year-old rookie James Porter stopped 24 of 28 shots to earn the victory for Kelowna. The Giants scored a season-high three power play goal.
All three first period games came via the man advantage. Kelowna defenceman Gordie Ballhorn got the offense started with his second of the season at 13:53 off a shot from the left point.
Late in the first frame the Giants answered with back-to-back power play markers of their own. Ty Ronning tied the game for Vancouver off a one-timer from the left circle. Ronning’s team-leading 16th of the season was assisted by Matt Barberis and Milos Roman. Then with under a minute remaining in the period Tyler Benson moved the Giants ahead when he one-timed an Alex Kannok Leipert pass home from the top of the right circle. Shots were 8-7 Kelowna after one but the Giants led 2-1.
With time winding down in the second period the Kelowna Rockets got back on even terms when Leif Mattson snuck his sixth of the season past Todd Scott from the slot. Kelowna outshot the Giants 12-8 in the middle frame to force the 2-2 tie.
The two B.C. Division rivals continued to trade chances and goals in the third period. Giants 20-year-old Brad Morrison broke up the 2-2 tie with his fifth of the year which came off a backhand shot from in close.
Kelowna answered when Vancouver Canucks prospect Kole Lind snuck a shot past Todd Scott off a shorthanded breakaway attempt. Scott made the initial save on the play as Lind was hauled down off the rush, but a sliding Giants defenceman knocked the puck across the goal line and the game was once again tied.
At 11:46 of the third Connor Bruggen-Cate gave the Rockets a brief lead when his low shot from the left-wing boards found its way in.
Giants captain Tyler Benson responded less than three minutes later with his second of the game off a shot from the right circle. Benson’s power play goal was assisted by both Brad Morrison and Milos Roman, all of whom finished with three points on the night.
60 minutes ultimately solved nothing and for the fifth time this season the Giants needed overtime to determine their fate.
Todd Scott and James Porter both made clutch saves for their respective teams in the first two minutes of extra-time. Scott’s best save of the night arguably came in overtime when he robbed Kole Lind with the glove off a two-on-one chance.
A few shifts later though the Rockets would send the home crowd home happy when Carson Twarynski one-timed home a Cal Foote pass off a two-on-one rush. Twarynski’s team-leading 10th gave the Rockets their ninth victory of the season, while the Giants record now sits at 6-8-2-2.
The single point ensured that the Giants stayed in the top eight in the Western Conference Standings, tied with both the Prince George Cougars and the Everett Silvertips for 16 points through 18 games. Next up for the Giants: A home matchup with the Victoria Royals tomorrow night at the Langley Events Centre – Puck drop: 7:00 PM.
- Tyler Benson has three goals and two assists for five points in his past two games.
- Ty Ronning has now scored 10 goals and seven assists for 17 points in his past eight games.
- The Giants have earned at least a point in four of their last five road games. (2-1-1-1 in that span.)
- 20-year-old defenceman Darian Skeoch returned to the Giants lineup after missing the previous four games with a suspension.