The Kelowna Rockets fell to the B.C. Division-leading Vancouver Giants 2-1 Friday night at the Langley Events Centre in Langley B.C.
Vancouver had the best chance in the opening ten minutes of the game; while in on a two on one, the Giants had a wide open back door chance but chipped the shot wide. The Rockets had the first opportunity on the man advantage at 9:57, Evan Patrician was called for a faceoff violation, the Rockets were unable to cash in. Kelowna and Vancouver headed into the first intermission deadlocked at zero.
Vancouver’s Alex Kannok Leipert (5) broke the scoreless tie 3:36 into the second period. Leipert fired a wrister that just squeaked past Rockets starter, Roman Basran. Skating up the right wing, Kyle Crosbie (7) took a wrist shot that slid through Trent Miner’s five-hole, tying up the game at 11:01. The two were tied at one after two periods of play.
The Rockets and Giants went back and forth throughout the third period. With 3:37 left to play in the game the Rockets were called for their first penalty of the game, Michael Farren was sent to the box for high sticking. It took the Giants just 20 seconds to capitalize on the power play chance, Dylan Plouffe (8) scored the go-ahead goal that would hold up as the game-winning goal.
The Kelowna Rockets record is now 27-32-6-2.
Basran stopped 29 of the 31 shots fired on him, his record moves to 19-19-3-1. Vancouver outshot Kelowna 31-18.
The Kamloops Blazers were also in action Friday night, they picked up a single point in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Prince George Cougars. The Blazers are now tied with the Rockets for third place in the B.C. Division at 62 points. The Blazers also wrap up their regular season tomorrow, They’ll face the Cougars in Prince George. If Kelowna and Kamloops are still tied in the standings after tomorrow night, they will play a tiebreaker game next week.
The Rockets return home tomorrow night to host the Giants for a rematch where they will both finish off the regular season. It’s Kelowna’s annual jersey off the back game, this year the team will be wearing a special superhero-themed jersey. Tickets are on sale at selectyourtickets.com, at the Prospera Place box office or by phone at 250-762-5050.