Rockets blow early lead, hold off Giants rally for 5-3 win
VANCOUVER - The Kelowna Rockets blew a 3-0 lead but recovered to hold off the Vancouver Giants for a 5-3 WHL victory on Sunday evening.
Scoring three quick goals in the second, and two quick goals in the third, they were able to fend-off the Giants' comeback attempt.
Kristofer Westblom made 20 saves in the victory, while Tyson Sexsmith drew a regulation loss, stopping only 18 of 23 shots.
Luke Schenn, Brady Leovlold, Colin Long, Lucas Bloodoff and Milan Kytnar scored for Kelowna.
Evander Kane, Jonathan Blum and Michel Repik replied for Vancouver. Brent Regner, Casey Pierro-Zabotel, and Lance Bouma had a pair of assists each.
After a scoreless first period, the second frame included five goals. Kelowna scored three goals, beginning with Schenn's third - a shot from the point - at 4:03. Leovold netted his fourth of the year on a broken play 47 seconds later to double the Rockets' lead.
Long's 10th of the season, from Schenn, increased their lead to three, at 7:38.
However, two Giants scored their sixth goal of the year, on the power play, to pull them to within one.
Evander Kane got the home squad on the board at 13:14, from Regner and Pierro-Zabotel. Then Blum pounced on a rebound to beat Westblom (10-4-2-1) at 16:08, with Bouma and Regner drawing the helpers.
The Giants completed the comeback with four minutes to go in the game. Repik took a pass from Pierro-Zabotel and released a wrist shot that found the back of the net, with Bouma also assisting.
However, seconds after the tying goal Spencer Machacek took a hooking penalty and the Rockets capitalized with their only power-play goal of the game.
Bloodoff's ninth of the season, from Cody Almond and Kyle St. Denis, at 17:49 proved to be the winning goal. Then, Kytnar scored his fourth, from McEwan, just 34 seconds later, giving the visitors insurance in the final two minutes.