Kelowna Rockets host division-leading Vancouver Giants tonight
The Kelowna Rockets are back in action this evening as they host the Vancouver Giants at Prospera Place. Game time is 7:05 p.m.
Heading into tonight’s clash, the Rockets are riding a five-game winning streak on home ice while the Giants have won their last three games.
Kelowna’s last game, though, was a loss, a 2-1 setback in Everett on Saturday night against the host and U.S. Division-leading Silvertips (19-7-1-0, 39 points). Meanwhile, Vancouver beat Saskatoon 5-3 on Tuesday night while downing Victoria 4-1 on Saturday.
Against Saskatoon, Vancouver scored once in the first plus twice each in the second and third periods. The Giants, who trailed 3-1 after 20 minutes before rallying over the last 40, were also 2-for-3 on the power play.
In B.C. Division standings, Vancouver (17-6-2-0) leads the five-team pack with 36 points. Victoria (12-8-0-0) is in second place with 24 points, 12 back. Prince George (10-12-1-1) and Kelowna (11-14-1-0) are tied for third with 23 points while Kamloops (9-11-1-1) is last with 20 points.
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Against Everett, the Silvertips outshot the Rockets 42-18, with Kelowna netminder James Porter making 40 saves. Kelowna blue-liner Dalton Gally says the loss was a good learning lesson.
“We were in the defensive zone a lot of that game, but it was a good lesson learned,” said Gally. “Play a full 60 minutes, maintain the entire game and play our game.”
Tonight’s game will be the third meeting of the season between Kelowna and Vancouver, with the Giants having won the first two. Vancouver blanked Kelowna 5-0 on October 3rd at Prospera Place, then won 3-1 in Langley on October 21st.
In facing Vancouver Gally says “the most important thing is to play as a five-man unit. Sometimes we get too spread out or someone tries to do a little too much. If we simplify our game and focus on playing as one unit good things will happen.”
After tonight’s game, the Rockets will play twice more this week: Friday night in Kennewick, Wash., against the host Tri-City Americans (14-9-0-0), then Saturday at home against the visiting Saskatoon Blades (15-9-2-0).
The Rockets and Giants won’t meet again until a home-and-home set on January 26th and 27th.
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