Kelowna Rockets defeated the Vancouver Giants 4-0 on Friday night, Dec. 1, at Langley Events Centre.
With the loss, the Giants’ regular season record falls to 9-15-2-0, 10th in the 11-team western conference, 20th overall in the 22-team WHL.
Rockets scored a pair of goals in the final five minutes of the opening period and made it a 3-0 game midway through the third, before adding an empty-net goal to make it a 4-0 final.
Rockets goaltender Jari Kykkanen stopped all 16 Vancouver shots he faced in the third period and finished with 31 saves overall for his first shutout of the season.
Associate Coach Adam Maglio said the team has “got to get the power play going here and capitalize on some of these Grade-As. We had a ton of good looks tonight, but we’ve got to bear down on our chances there. I thought we had some good energy. I liked our jump tonight. I think that was probably our most physical game. There was some good pushback tonight.”
The game’s opening goal came at the 15:19 mark of the first period, after Hiroki Gojsic fed a pass from the right wing to the slot off the rush, where captain Gabriel Szturc tapped it in for his 12th goal of the season.
Less than two minutes later, defenceman John Babcock walked down from the left point and beat Mirwald on the short side to make the score 2-0 for Kelowna.
Neither side scored in the second, though a late Giants push made things interesting heading into the third period.
Kelowna held off the Giants to begin the final period, and got an insurance marker from Dylan Wightman on the power play at the 10:00 minute mark.
Vancouver continued to push and got more solid chances when they pulled the goalie on a power play to make it a 5-on-3 advantage, but Kykkanen wouldn’t budge, finishing with 31 saves on the night for his third career shutout.
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Next, Vancouver is in Kennewick to battle the Tri-City Americans tonight, Saturday Dec. 2, before finishing their weekend in Spokane against the Chiefs.
Next Saturday, Dec. 9 is the annual Teddy Bear Toss, when the Giants welcome the Everett Silvertips.