Friday night at home, the Vancouver Giants (42-14-2-2) kicked off the month of March with a 7-4 victory over the Kelowna Rockets (26-30-4-1) in front of 3900-plus at the Langley Events Centre. Milos Roman paced the G-Men with a goal and three assists while five other Giants recorded multi-point games. The Giants trailed four separate times over the course of Friday’s game, but each time found an answer en route to their B.C. Division leading 42nd victory. Nolan Foote responded with two goals for Kelowna. It was their sixth victory in seven tries this season against the Rockets and they’ve earned 13 of 14 possible points against them.
KEL – Nolan Foote (32) wasted little time getting Kelowna on the board as he wired home a point-shot just 1:44 into the game on a power play to stake Kelowna to a 1-0 lead.
VAN – Just a minute and 10 seconds later rookie Nic Draffin tipped home a point shot from Seth Bafaro past Rockets starter James Porter for his first ever WHL goal. Davis Koch earned the second assist.
KEL – 18 seconds later the Rockets regained their lead when Mark Liwiski (10) swatted home a Lassi Thomson rebound at 3:12.
VAN – Dallas Hines (8) got the Giants tied 2-2 when he followed up a rush, took a Milos Roman feed from the right-wing and wired home a shot from the left-wing circle.
KEL – Nolan Foote (33) potted his second goal of the period at 16:45 off a pass from Leif Mattson to give the Rockets their third lead of the period.
Shots: 16-14 Vancouver
VAN – One minute and 15 seconds into the second period Alex Kannok Leipert one-timed his third goal of the season through traffic and past James Porter from the left-wing point. Milos Roman earned the lone helper giving him two on the night at that point.
KEL – Back came the Rockets at 4:47 when Alex Swetlikoff pounced on a Ted Brennan rebound and tucked home his fourth of the season.
VAN – Jadon Joseph (18) evened the score at 4-4 at 12:24 off an odd-man rush. Once again it was Milos Roman assisting, along with Bowen Byram. That spelled the end of the night for James Porter who finished the night with 23 saves on 27 shots faced. In came Roman Basran in relief.
VAN – On their only power play of the night, the Giants made the Rockets pay. Milos Roman (24) buried his team-leading 16th power play goal at 14:33 of a slick three-way passing play with Davis Koch and Bowen Byram to give the Giants their first lead of the night.
Shots: 16-15 Kelowna
VAN – The Giants extended their lead by two goals at 9:58 of the final period when Davis Koch stuffed home a Tristen Nielsen rebound from in close. Jadon Joseph drew the second assist on Koch’s team-leading 25th goal.
VAN – With exactly one minute remaining in the third period, Tristen Nielsen ended all hopes of a Kelowna comeback with an empty-net goal. Dallas Hines and Jadon Joseph both drew assists.
Shots: 11-9 Vancouver
– The Giants are 19-2-0-2 in their past 23 games.
– The Giants are now 6-0-0-1 this season against Kelowna and are 2-0-0-1 against them at home.
– Friday’s four-point game marked the second time in Milos Roman’s WHL career that he’s notched four points in a single game. He previously accomplished that feat on September 29, 2017 against Kamloops.
– The Giants have outshot their opponent in nine straight games.
– The Giants remain two points shy of first place in the Western Conference. The Everett Silvertips were 2-1 winners in regulation on Friday night, giving them 88 points while the Giants currently have 86. The Giants hold one game in hand.
– Nic Draffin became the sixth Giant this season to record his first WHL goal. Others include: Justin Sourdif, Lukas Svejkovsky, Yannik Valenti, Parker Hendren and Evan Patrician.
– The Giants are 14-0-0-2 against the B.C. Division since December 15th, 2018.