The Kelowna Rockets fell 4-3 to the Vancouver Giants Wednesday night at Prospera Place in Kelowna, BC to close out the first half of the 2019/2020 season.
The Rockets were once again without Nolan Foote (World Juniors), Kyle Topping (injury), Liam Kindree (injury), Sean Comrie (injury) and Dillon Hamaliuk (illness).
Newly acquired defenceman Conner McDonald made his debut for the Rockets, picking up assists on all three Rockets goals and second-star honours. Matthew Wedman made his home debut with Kelowna, going 19/29 in the faceoff dot and netting a goal.
Vancouver opened the scoring 3:34 into the second period when Alex Kannok Leipert (2) beat Rockets starter Roman Basran. John Little (1) extended the lead for the Giants with a power-play marker. Pavel Novak (13) cut Vancouver’s lead in half 27 seconds later.
Tristen Nielsen (16) re-established the Giants two-goal lead just before the ten-minute mark of the third period. Jadon Joseph (8) brought Kelowna within one again with his first goal as a Rocket. Tyler Preziuso (13) padded the lead again with 5:40 to play. Matthew Wedman (9) inched the Rockets closer again. The Rockets pressed in the final moments of the game on the man advantage with an empty net but could not beat Giants netminder David Tendeck.
Basran stopped 25 of the 29 shots fired his way, his record moves to 14-7-1-2. Vancouver outshot Kelowna 29-28.
The Rockets were 0-for-5 with the man advantage, while the Giants were 1-for-3 on the power play.
Kelowna’s record is now 18-11-1-2. The team will be back in action on Friday, January 27 when they host the Kamloops Blazers for their first game of the second half of the season. Tickets are on sale at selectyourtickets.com, at the Prospera Place box office or by phone at 250-762-5050.
Ticket packages for the 2020 Memorial Cup presented by Kia are on sale now. Secure your seats or purchase a package for the hockey fan in your life this holiday season by clicking here.