The Kelowna Rockets were victorious for the first time in 2020 with a 3-2 shootout win over the Vancouver Giants Saturday night at Prospera Place.
Conner McDonald sealed the win in the skills competition, while Roman Basran turned aside 23 shots to lift the Rockets to their 20th win of the season.
Liam Kindree (8) got the Rockets on the board 16:32 into the game. His initial shot rebounded off of a Giant defenders skate blade right back to him, he fired his fourth goal in as many games past David Tendeck’s blocker. It didn’t take long for the Giants to respond, Holden Katzalay (1) scored just 25 seconds later.
Giants leading scorer Tristen Nielsen (18) pulled Vancouver in front early in the third period. Pavel Novak (14) tied the game up just past the midway point of the period.
In the shootout, the Rockets shot first. Justin Sourfid (goal), Cole Shepard (X) and Tristen Nielsen (X) all fired for the Giants
Ethan Ernst (X), Matthew Wedman (goal) and Conner McDonald (goal) shot for the Rockets.
Kelowna outshot Vancouver 36-25.
Kelowna was 0-for-1 on the power play, while the Giants were 0-for-2 with the man advantage.
Rockets captain Nolan Foote and Team Canada will take on Russia in the gold medal game at the World Juniors tomorrow morning (1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT),
Kelowna’s next game is tomorrow afternoon on the road against the Tri-City Americans, puck drop is set for 4:05 p.m.
Bring a donation of a non-perishable food item for the Kelowna Food Bank to attend the CIBC Family Skate next Sunday, January 12, 2020, from 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM at Prospera Place. The entire Rockets team and Memorial Cup will be on hand to take photos. Please note: There will be no skate rentals or skate sharpening on site.