Tonight at Prospera Place in Kelowna, the Vancouver Giants go up against the 2020 Memorial Cup hosts, the Kelowna Rockets for just the second time this season. The Giants haven’t faced the Rockets since September 29th and are looking to snap a modest two-game losing skid. The Rockets on the other hand are 7-2-0-1 in their last 10 and are coming off a 4-2 Prairie road swing that wrapped up Saturday with a 5-4 come-from-behind victory in Moose Jaw.
Head Coach: Adam Foote
Home Record: 8-3-0-1
Goals For/Goals Against: 92 GF/88 GA (+4)
Power Play: 20.4% (13th in WHL)
Penalty Kill: 80.9% (9th in WHL)
Leading Scorers: Nolan Foote (25GP – 15G – 18A – 33PTS), Kaedon Korczak (31GP – 5G – 22A – 27PTS), Pavel Novak (23GP – 12G – 13A – 25PTS)
THE RIGHT FOOTE:
The Kelowna Rockets will be without their captain tonight. Nolan Foote is among the six WHL players overseas with Canada getting ready for the 2020 IIHF World Junior tournament. Foote leads the Rockets in both goals (15) and points (33) and his absence will certainly be felt on the power play where he’s managed eight goals and 10 assists for 18 points.
TO BE THE ‘MAN’:
Matthew Wedman will play his first home game as a Kelowna Rocket tonight. The Florida Panthers prospect was acquired a few weeks ago in a trade with the Seattle Thunderbirds and has scored twice and added two assists for five points in six games with Kelowna. Last season Wedman finished with 40 goals for Seattle and added an additional three goals and three assists for six points during the playoffs in a six-game series against the Giants.
- Newly acquired defencman Conner McDonald makes his Rockets debut tonight.
- Vegas prospect Kaedon Korczak is tied for fourth in WHL scoring amongst defencemen with 27 points.
- Goaltender Roman Basran was 2-7 against the Giants last season with a .911 save percentage and a 2.74 goals-against average.
Head Coach: Michael Dyck
Road Record: 7-9-0-1
Goals For/Goals Against: 78 GF/84 GA (-6)
Power Play: 11.4% (21st)
Penalty Kill: 79.2% (11th)
Leading Scorers: Tristen Nielsen (31GP – 15G – 16A – 31PTS), Justin Sourdif (29GP – 12G – 14A – 26PTS), Tyler Preziuso (31GP – 12G – 13A – 25PTS)
LAST TIME VS. KELOWNA:
The Giants were 4-0 winners at home against Kelowna back on September 29th. David Tendeck made 14 saves to earn the shutout and and Milos Roman and Justin Sourdif each supplied two goals for the Giants. That night the Giants went six-for-six on the penalty kill and were one-for-two on the man advantage. After tonight the next time these two teams will face each other will be on Saturday, December 28th at the LEC.
- Tyler Preziuso leads all active WHL’ers with 296 games played.
- On Friday, December 6th at home against Spokane, Giants goaltender David Tendeck surpassed 7000 minutes played in a Giants uniform. He’s currently ranked third all-time in games played by a Giants goaltender (128) trailing only Payton Lee (140) and Tyson Sexsmith (172).
- Milos Roman’s next goal will mark the 50th of his WHL career.
- Zack Ostapchuk, Cole Shepard, Justin Lies, and Tanner Brown have all recorded their first WHL goals this season with the Giants.
SOURDIF CHOSEN FOR KUBOTA CHL/NHL TOP PROSPECTS GAME:
Yesterday the Vancouver Giants announced that 2002-born forward Justin Sourdif (Surrey, B.C.) has been invited to participate in the 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. Sourdif along with 39 others from throughout the CHL will compete in the event in Hamilton, Ontario on Thursday, January 16th, 2020. Originally selected third overall by the Vancouver Giants in the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft, Justin Sourdif has registered 12 goals and 14 assists for 26 points in 29 games so far this season. Sourdif’s +22 rating is tops on the Giants, and tops among all 2002-born players in the WHL. In 96 career regular season games, Sourdif has posted 35 goals and 37 assists for 72 points. He’s added two goals and six assists for eight points in 24 career playoff games. Justin Sourdif is the 14th Giants player to receive an invite to participate in the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. Other previous Giants to receive an invite include: Mark Fistric (2004), Gilbert Brule (2005), Jonathan Blum (2007), Michal Repik (2007), Tyson Sexsmith (2007), James Wright (2008), Evander Kane (2009), David Musil (2011), Brett Kulak (2012), Tyler Benson (2016), Ty Ronning (2016), Milos Roman (2018), and Bowen Byram (2019).