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Rockets slay pesky Giants

The Kelowna Rockets didn't bring their A game Friday night.

But, what they did bring was just good enough to beat back the visiting Vancouver Giants, 5-4 in overtime.

In doing so, they ran their winning steak to 25 straight over the Giants at Prospera Place, a streak dating back to March 19, 2011.

Carsen Twarynski bagged the game winner 2:07 into the extra period. Cal Foote picked up the puck at his own blueline at the end of a long shift, and raced down ice two-on-on with Twarynski.

Foote looked pass all the way, and feathered a perfect saucer pass that Twarynski one-timed for his 10th of the season.

"I had a battle with (Tyler) Benson on the wall and I was able to get the puck from him to Cal, and I jumped up," said Twarynski.

"On three-on-three you have to cheat a little because there is so much open ice, and one turnover is going to lead to a goal. So, good on Cal for cheating. We were at the end of our shift and gave it everything we had."

To say the game was scrambly and sloppy would be understating the obvious. Both teams turned the puck over far too many times, leading to good chances at both ends of the ice.

"It was definitely not the prettiest, and we know in our room. We have to be better against Red Deer tomorrow night or it won;t go our way.

"Everything they got we gave to them, whether it was mistakes or turnovers. We were doing the complicated things and not the simple things we are supposed to be doing."

The Rockets opened the scoring on the power play when Gordie Ballhorn sent a wrist shot from the mid point past Todd Scott on the blocker side.

The Giants got a pair of power play goals of their own before the end of the first to grab a 2-1 lead. The Rockets finally got that one back during the middle frame when Leif Mattson took a feed from Dillon Dube in the corner and sent a wrist shot five-hole for his sixth.

Brad Morrison briefly gave the Giants a one-goal lead early in the third before Kole Lind finally hit the scoresheet with his 10th, shorthanded.

Lind stole the puck in the e]neutral zone and blew past three Giants on his way to the net. Lind was hauled down in front of Scott, but the puck kept moving, deflecting off Scott then a defenceman before sliding into the net.

Lind could have had three or four more on the night but missed on a pair of first period breakaways then rang one off the post in the third.

Connor Bruggen-Cate finally netted his second of the season at the end of a power play when his harmless shot from near the goal line somehow squeezed between the post and Scott.

The Giants got that one back moments later on another power play, their third of the night when Benson wired home his second of the night from the right circle.

"I think we made some mistakes," said Rockets head coach Jason Smith about the penalty kill.

"Two of the goals they got on the power play, we had a chance to clear the puck and never got it out of the zone. They spend another 20 seconds in there and capitalize on the opportunity. When you get an opportunity to clear the puck you've got to clear it."

The Rockets had the best chance to score in overtime before Twarynski's game winner when Lind was left all alone in front of Scott, but the rookie came up with a spectacular glove grab to give his team a chance to win.

Both teams had some success with the man advantage, the Giants going three-for-five, while the Rockets scored twice on their six chances.

The win leaves the Rockets eight points in back of division leading Victoria.

Kelowna does hold two games in hand.

Friday's game was the first of a four game home stand for the Rockets. They'll host Red Deer Saturday.

The Rebels will come into town off a 3-2 loss in Kamloops Friday.



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