The Vancouver Giants were playing comeback all night and eventually ran out of time as the Kelowna Rockets beat Vancouver 4-3 Friday night at the Pacific Coliseum in front of the biggest home crowd of the year, 9,458.
Vancouver got into penalty trouble in the first period and the Rockets made them pay. Kevin Smith and Colton Sissons scored 1:33 apart, both on the man advantage, to give Kelowna a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes.
The Giants came out flying in the second and were rewarded with a shorthanded marker courtesy of James Henry, as he potted his 8th of the year. Craig Cunningham would get the equalizer with just a second left in the period, wiring home his 8th of the season past Adam Brown to tie the game 2-2 after 40 minutes.
It didn’t take the Rockets much time in the third to restore their lead, as Mitchell Callahan scored on a wrap around just 1:16 into the frame. Sissons would get his second of the game, just after a Giants penalty ended to give the Rockets a 4-2 lead. Brendan Gallagher would make it interesting late in the game, scoring his 17th of the year with :56 left on the clock. However, it was too little, too late as Kelowna hung on to win their 7th game of the year 4-3.
Adam Brown made 33 saves in the win. Brendan Jensen stopped 21 of 25 shots he faced, suffering his 4th loss of the year.
Mr. Hockey, Gordie Howe, was honoured along with his sons Mark and Marty before the game, taking part in the ceremonial faceoff and visiting with 99 lucky fans. The Giants are back in action Sunday evening when they host the Everett Silvertips. Game time is 5:00pm. Pregame show begins at 4:30pm on AM 650.