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Rockets hold off Giants with a shootout victory

Chris Relke

The Kelowna Rockets launched back into the win column Sunday with a 4-3 shootout victory over the B.C. Division-leading Vancouver Giants at the Langley Events Centre in Langley, BC.

Mark Liwiski (4) opened the scoring 11:31 into the game when he put away Leif Mattson’s no-look from behind pass. Kyle Topping (18) extended the lead to 2-0 when he finished off a nice passing play at 14:23. The Rockets held a 2-0 lead after the first period of play.

Topping (19) netted his second of the night when he beat Giants starter, David Tendeck. Justin Sourdif (12)  got the Giants on the board 1:50 after Topping’s goal. Davis Koch (19) brought Vancouver within one at 12:19 when he got a shot past Rockets goaltender, Roman Basran. Kelowna entered the second intermission with a 3-2 lead.

Bowen Bryam (18) scored the game-tying goal at 13:11. After sixty minutes of play, the game remained tied at three apiece.

The two teams went back in forth in overtime but neither could beat the opposing goaltender.

The Giants elected to shoot first in the shootout. Davis Koch and Kyle Topping were both stopped in the first round. Bowen Byram and Nolan Foote were also stopped in the second round. Vancouver’s Tristen Neilsen’s attempt was stopped by Basran. With the game on his stick, Mattson fired the game-winning shot past Tendick.

The Rockets record improves to 20-24-3-1.

Roman Basran turned aside 30 of the 33 shots he faced, and all three shooters in the shootout. His record moves to 14-14-1-0. The Giants outshot the Rockets 33-25.

Kelowna will return home to host the Seattle Thunderbirds for Hat Trick Wednesday on this week on January 30th.  Tickets are on sale at selectyourtickets.com, at the Prospera Place box office or by phone at 250-762-5050.

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