Rockets get deja vu scare in Vancouver

Flashback one year - game 71 - Kelowna Rockets in Vancouver in a meaningless game for both teams.

Captain Colton Sissons takes what looks to be a harmless hit which results in a broken collarbone. Gone for the season.

Fast forward to Friday night - game 71 - Kelowna Rockets in Vancouver in a meaningless game for both teams.

Captain Madison Bowey drives hard to the net where he is sent flying, head first into Giants goaltender Payton Lee.

Bowey got up and skated to the bench with blood coming from a gash on his left arm courtesy of Lee's skate blade. The sound emanating from inside the Pacific Coliseum was a collective gasp coming from the Rockets bench.

It turned out to be nothing more than just a cut - 10 stitches later, Bowey was back out for the second period.

The Rockets dodged a bullet and needed all of Bowey's prowess to skate away with a shaky 6-5 win over the Giants.

Bowey scored twice during a five goal second period becoming the first Rocket defenceman in franchise history to hit the 20 goal mark. He eclipsed the previous record of 19 set by Tyson Barrie during the 2009-2010 season.

Friday's win was also the Rockets 29th on the road equalling the league record now shared with the Portland Winterhawks.

The Giants got on the board first Friday when Ty Ronning scored his first of two on the night.

It was all Rockets for the balance of the first and all of the second as they scored six unanswered goals to take what appeared to be a commanding 6-1 lead into the third.

Justin Kirkland also scored twice for the Rockets including a highlight reel shorthanded goal which put the Rockets up 4-1 before the midway point of the second.

Kirkland streaked down the right wing and cut to his around a defenceman and past the top of the crease.

As he was passing the top of the crease Kirkland tried to slip the puck to his backhand and tuck the puck into the far corner similar to a move made famous by Peter Forsberg. He missed the tip in, however, the puck found its way into the corner of the net.

Myles Bell with a power-play goal and two assists and Rourke Chartier also scored for the Rockets.

The Giants dominated the third period much the way the Rockets did the second, scoring four unanswered goals and coming within a Jackson Houck crossbar in the final minute of getting the equalizer.

Jackson Whistle stopped 30 shots to earn the victory while Ryan Kubic, who finished the game in place of Lee who was also injured during that collision with Bowey, stopped 24 of 30 shots he faced.

Friday's win improved the Rockets record to 56-11-0-4.

They will try to extend their franchise record for wins and points Saturday when they close out the regular season at Prospera Place against the same Vancouver Giants.


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