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Kelowna Rockets scored five straight in a 5-4 win over the Vancouver Giants

Rockets hang on for victory

The Kelowna Rockets dug themselves out of an early hole, scoring five goals in a row before hanging on for a 5-4 victory over the visiting Vancouver Giants Friday at Prospera Place.

The Giants jumped all over the Rockets early, getting goals from Julian Cull and Damian Palmieri before the game was four-and-a-half minutes old.

But, a power play shortly after turned the tide in the home team's favour. The Rockets didn't score but generated several chances and grabbed the momentum.

"Our play has been real stagnant of late. We made some changes and credit the guys who were out there who bought into it," said head coach Kris Mallette.

"You never want to lose the momentum on the power play. I thought we had some pretty good looks on that one."

It was a power play moments later when Adam Kydd tipped home a cross-ice pass from Carson Golder that sent the Rockets on their way.

Newly acquired defenceman Ethan Mittelsteadt scored his first in a Rockets uniform, converting Kydd's pass from the side of the net.

The Rockets dominated the middle frame. Szturc buried his 13th on a back-door one time off a pass from Caden Price on a five-on-three power play just 57 seconds into the frame.

Golder made it 4-2 with a spectacular individual effort. Racing down the left wing, Golder used a toe drag to get around a defenceman, kicked the puck back up to his stick then beat Jesper Vikman on a backhand from in close.

"The way we started the game wasn't ideal but I really liked how we finished the first. I thought our second period was really strong, arguably one of our better of the year," said Mallette.

Jackson DeSouza made it 5-2 with what would turn out to be the winner, converting a two-on-one with Scott Cousins, called up from the BCHL because of injuries.

But, some old habits crept in, allowing the Giants to cut the deficit to one.

"Our group, they all care, they all want to be the one that makes the play, but sometimes the right play in not pretty, not sexy.

"We are putting ourselves in a position where we have to play an easy game. The score might have played a little bit into it toward the end.

"Just circumstance, youth, inexperience, exuberance. They are working hard so I'm not going to fault them for that."

The Rockets were without five regulars due to injury.

Forwards Andrew Cristall, Ty Hurley and Max Graham and defencemen John Babcock and Marek Rocak all sat out with various injuries.

Friday's win, the Rockets second straight on home ice moved them back into sole possession of eighth in the Western Conference two points up on the Victoria Royals, who were thumped 8-1 in Prince George.

The Rockets get right back at it again Saturday when former Rockets head coach Jeff Truitt brings his Prince Albert Raiders into Prospera Place.



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