Vancouver Giants’ Aidan Barfoot chases down Kelowna Rockets forward Conner Bruggen-Cate during WHL action Wednesday at Prospera Place. Marissa Baecker photo

Giants finally ground Rockets in Kelowna

Vancouver had lost 26 straight games in Kelowna, dating back to 2011

Just how long has it been since the Vancouver Giants won in Kelowna?

Consider this: none of the players on the current Giants roster were even drafted into the WHL.

But on Wednesday night, a long stretch of misery at Kelowna’s Prospera Place came to an end finally, as the Giants scored a come-from-behind 4-3 overtime victory.

SEE: Giants send Rockets to 5th straight loss

Alex Kannok Leipert scored late in regulation to tie the game and then captain Tyler Benson won it for the Vancouver visitors.

It was Vancouver’s first victory in Kelowna since the March 19, 2011, with the Giants suffering 26 straight defeats against the B.C. Division powerhouse.

Kelowna’s Erik Gardner opened the scoring 2:19 into the game before Owen Hardy — making his return to the line-up after missing 11 consecutive games — tied things before intermission.

Ty Ronning gave the Giants a 2-1 lead with an early second-period power-play goal but Carson Twarysnki scored a pair of power-play goals for the Rockets for a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes.

Kannok Leipert tied the score with less than four minutes to play before Benson won it at 3:56 of overtime.

The victory extended the Rockets losing streak to a season-high five games. Kelowna still leads the division with a record of 38-22-5-2 and 83 points, which is just six ahead of Vancouver’s (34-23-6-3) 77 points. The third-place Giants do have one game in hand and the two rivals square off for a home-and-home series to finish the regular season.

The Giants are back in action with a busy weekend featuring three games in less than 48 hours.

Vancouver is in Kennewick, WA. to face the Tri-City Americans on Friday and Sunday with a visit to Portland against the Winterhawks sandwiched in between.



sports@langleytimes.com

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