Vancouver Giants captain Tyler Benson is taken down by Kelowna Rockets captain Cal Foote during WHL action at the Langley Events Centre on Nov. 18. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Vancouver Giants captain Tyler Benson is taken down by Kelowna Rockets captain Cal Foote during WHL action at the Langley Events Centre on Nov. 18. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Giants ground Rockets in WHL action

Vancouver builds early lead, never looks back in 6-1 win at Langley Events Centre

One night after their worse loss since opening weekend, the Vancouver Giants took advantage of a wounded opponent.

Smarting after a 6-2 loss the night before in Kamloops to the Blazers, the Giants erased the sting of that defeat with a 6-1 win over the Kelowna Rockets on Saturday night at the Langley Events Centre in Western Hockey League action.

Vancouver scored four times in the first period to chase Rockets goalie James Porter and that was more than enough offence as David Tendeck made 26 saves against a Kelowna team missing its top two scorers.

“We let our foot off the gas (yesterday) and had a nice bounce back today,” said Giants captain Tyler Benson, listing the fact his team played with energy, won more than their share of battles and got puck deeps.

Vancouver sits at 10-9-2-2 and their 24 points pull them within three of the second-place Rockets (12-7-2-1) in the B.C. Division.

And of Vancouver’s 13 combined losses, all have been by one goal except for the first two to start the season and then Friday’s night’s defeat in Kamloops.

A major problem in the most recent loss was a less-than stellar penalty kick as Kamloops scored five times on their power play.

A big way in correcting the penalty kill is not to let the opponent get many chances and the Rockets only had three power-play opportunities. Their lone goal came courtesy of Marek Skvrne on a rebound 6:18 into the third period. But by that time, the Giants were already up 5-0.

Saturday’s contest wasn’t about X’s and O’s but about the nuts and bolts of the game, said Vancouver coach Jason McKee.

“I liked our energy level and our compete level was much better,” he said.

McKee said his team reverted to their early season struggles where they were taking too many — and unnecessary — penalties.

“The stick infractions weren’t there and they are calling those, just like the NHL,” he said.

“We have to adjust and take that extra stride or two rather than reach in with our stick.”

It would be the Giants taking advantage on the power play in Saturday’s game.

With the Rockets two men down, Dylan Plouffe drew the defenders to one side and then sent the puck across to Brad Morrison for a one-time to open the scoring. James Malm then set Benson up for another power-play goal for the back-half of the two-man advantage.

The Rockets would get a few chances following that but Ty Ronning extended his goal-scoring streak to 10 games as he waited out a sliding defender and then went post and in for his 23rd goal of the season.

And before the period let out, Tyler Popowich completed a nice passing play with Brayden Watts for a tap-in in the final minute.

Kelowna would change goalies at intermission with Roman Basran entering the crease. But Malm would greet him with an early goal 1:32 in, getting the puck in tight and maneuvering the puck to his forehand and tucking him home.

The final goal came on a delayed penalty with less than five minutes to play as Benson scored from a bad angle. It was set up by Malm as both he and Benson finished with three points apiece.

Tendeck finished with 26 saves and also faced a third-period penalty shot, which Kyle Topping sent wide.

The goaltender has now allowed two goals or less in his last three starts. The four games before that saw him surrender a combined 20 goals.

“Just sticking to the plan, keep on battling, keep on marching and doing all the right things and things are starting to go my way,” he said.

Vancouver’s power play now has goals in six straight games, going 12-for-24 over that span. Not coincidentally, the team is 4-1-1-0 in those games. Prior to that, the Giants were a putrid 7-for-65 with the man advantage (10.8 per cent).

“It has definitely been big for us, it has given us a chance to win,” Benson said of the power play.

Vancouver is back in action on Nov. 22 when they host the Lethbridge Hurricanes at the LEC. Game time is 7 p.m.


sports@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Kelowna RocketsVancouver Giants

 

Vancouver Giants’ Kaleb Bulych against the Kelowna Rockets in WHL action at Langley Events Centre on Nov. 18. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Vancouver Giants’ Kaleb Bulych against the Kelowna Rockets in WHL action at Langley Events Centre on Nov. 18. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Vancouver Giants’ James Malm against the Kelowna Rockets in WHL action at Langley Events Centre on Nov. 18. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Vancouver Giants’ James Malm against the Kelowna Rockets in WHL action at Langley Events Centre on Nov. 18. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Vancouver Giants’ Tyler Popowich against the Kelowna Rockets in WHL action at Langley Events Centre on Nov. 18. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Vancouver Giants’ Tyler Popowich against the Kelowna Rockets in WHL action at Langley Events Centre on Nov. 18. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Kelowna Rockets goaltender James Porter against the Vancouver Giants during WHL action at the Langley Events Centre on Nov. 18. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Kelowna Rockets goaltender James Porter against the Vancouver Giants during WHL action at the Langley Events Centre on Nov. 18. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Kelowna Rockets’ Leif Mattson cuts in on Vancouver Giants goalie David Tendeck during WHL action at the Langley Events Centre on Nov. 18. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Kelowna Rockets’ Leif Mattson cuts in on Vancouver Giants goalie David Tendeck during WHL action at the Langley Events Centre on Nov. 18. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Giants ground Rockets in WHL action

Giants ground Rockets in WHL action

Just Posted

Scooters lined up for an educational event in Stuart Park on Wednesday, June 16. (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News)
Free e-scooter safety training in Kelowna

Shared e-scooter operators collaborate to educate riders

The suspect reportedly assaulted a security guard and robbed him. The incident happened at a Kelowna hotel. (Contributed)
Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Employees at Playtime Casino wait outside while firefighters inspect the building after a small storage room fire on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News).
Small fire at Kelowna’s Playtime Casino as staff preps to re-open

Fire ignited in the storage room, but the staff were able to put it out

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

A mother stands with her daughter, visiting senior parents but observing social distancing with a glass door between them.  The granddaughter puts her hand up to the glass, the grandfather and grandmother doing the same.  A small connection in a time of separation during the Covid-19 pandemic (Valley First/Contributed).
Have your say on which Okanagan, Thompson, Similkameen charities get donation

Valley First seeks public help to distribute $250,000 to local charities via social media campaign

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

Vernon Courthouse. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Sentencing delayed in North Okanagan child pornography case

Man who pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography will have new sentence date fixed next week

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

People decided to tag Skaha Bluffs rocks which the Ministry has to go in and now clean up. (Facebook)
Bluffs at popular Penticton rock climbing park defaced

Ministry of Environment is going to clean it up

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

Most Read