The Kelowna Rockets rallied from a 3-0 deficit to defeat the Vancouver Giants 4-3 in a shootout Saturday night at Prospera Place in Kelowna. Marek Tvrdon had 3 assists in a losing cause as the Giants fell to 2-3-0-1 this year vs. the Rockets.
The Giants got off to a great start, capitalizing on an early power play as Cain Franson banged in a rebound for his 18th goal of the season to put Vancouver up 1-0. Jackson Whistle got the call in net and looked sharp in the opening 20 minutes stopping all 11 shots he faced.
Vancouver would add to their lead in the second period, again on the power play. This time it was Tyler Vanscourt slotting home his 10th goal of the season to give the Giants a 2-0 lead. Alex Kuvaev made it 3-0, completing a 3-on-1 with Jordan Martinook and Tvrdon. It was Kuvavev 2nd goal of the season and first since his first game of the year back on December 27. However, with under a minute remaining in the second period the Rockets would score to cut the lead to 3-1 after 40 minutes. Kelowna outshot Vancouver 17-8 in the frame.
The Rockets continued to press in the third period and finally were rewarded. Mitchell Chapman’s point shot beat Whistle to cut the lead to 3-2, 6:43 into the third period. Then just before a Giants penalty was to expire, Tanner Moar tied the game at 3-3 just past the midway point of the period. Neither team would score the rest of the way in regulation so extra time was needed. Jordan Martinook hit the outside of the post, but that is as close as the Giants would come to ending the game. Overtime solved nothing, so a shootout was needed. Zach Franko and Myles Bell both scored for Kelowna, while Tvrdon and Cain Franson were stopped, securing the 4-3 victory for Kelowna. Rockets goaltender Adam Brown made 29 saves to record his 100th career WHL regular season victory. Jackson Whistle made 38 saves in a losing cause.
The Giants wrap up their busy weekend of 3 games in 3 nights vs. the Seattle Thunderbirds tomorrow night at the Pacific Coliseum. Puck drop is 5:00 pm. The pregame show begins at 4:30 pm on AM 650.