Vancouver, B.C. – The Vancouver Giants lost a thrilling back and forth affair, falling 6-4 to the Kelowna Rockets at the Langley Events Centre on Friday night. Alec Baer scored two goals for Vancouver while Darian Skeoch and Johnny Wesley also found the net.
Baer put Vancouver on the board early in the first period, scoring off the rush by tucking the puck into the net after Kelowna goaltender Michael Herringer missed on an attempted poke check. Calvin Thurkauf responded for Kelowna later in the period, picking up the rebound of a Nick Merkley shot and depositing the puck past Vancouver goalie Ryan Kubic. Merkley gave the Rockets the lead with a power play goal a few minutes later, but Skeoch scored his first of the season for the Giants on a one-timer from the right circle to tie the game at 2-2.
The Rockets scored two shorthanded goals in a three second span to take a 4-2 lead in the second period. Tomas Soustal beat Kubic on a nice power move to the front of the net before Braydyn Chizen scored on a slap shot from his own blue line that found its way past the Vancouver net minder. Baer tallied his second of the night with a hard wrist shot from the left circle to pull Vancouver back to within one goal before the intermission.
Wesley evened the score for Vancouver in the third period, scoring on a rebound after a battle for a loose puck in the Kelowna crease. Kole Lind bagged the eventual game winning goal for the Rockets at 16:50 of the final frame, finding the net on his own rebound. Merkley added an empty net goal.
Kelowna out shot Vancouver 37-24. The Giants went 0-for-5 on the power play. Kubic made 31 saves in the losing cause.
The Giants will be back in action at the LEC on Saturday night when they welcome the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Puck drop is slated for 7:00pm.
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