PRESEASON PREVIEW: Giants Head to Kelowna to Battle Rockets
Vancouver, B.C. – The Vancouver Giants play their lone road preseason contest tonight at 7:05 p.m. PT in Kelowna against the Rockets.
The Giants are 1-0-1 so far in preseason action, following a win last Friday against the Prince George Cougars and a 5-4 shootout loss last Sunday against the Victoria Royals. The Rockets, meanwhile, are 1-1, as they split a home-and-home with the Kamloops Blazers.
For the most up to date Giants preseason roster, click HERE.
Today will be the first and only meeting between Vancouver and Kelowna in the 2023 preseason.
The two rivals finished their respective 2022-23 seasons with a home-and-home last spring, where each team won once. Vancouver was victorious in their home finale on March 24 by a score of 3-2, while Kelowna won their home finale on March 25 by a score of 5-4. Overall, Vancouver went 4-4-1 against the Rockets last season.
Jaden Lipinski and the now-graduated Dylan Anderson led Vancouver in H2H scoring with seven points each against Kelowna last season, while Kelowna forward Gabirel Szturc led all skaters with 14 H2H points (5G-9A).
Both teams will be without their top guns tonight, as five Giants and four Rockets are currently away at NHL rookie tournaments, including Giants NHL Draft selections Samuel Honzek (Calgary Flames) and Jaden Lipinski (Calgary Flames), and Rockets NHL Draft picks Andrew Cristall (Washington Capitals) and Caden Price (Seattle Kraken).
LAST TIME OUT
The game was deadlocked 1-1 heading into the third period, before three consecutive penalties led to three quick goals from Victoria.
However, the Giants rallied late in the third period, scoring three goals of their own in under five minutes to tie the game 4-4. First it was 2023 sixth overall pick Ryan Lin making it 4-2, then Aaron Obobaifo made it 4-3 on the power play, and finally Lipinski used his long reach to tuck home the game-tying-goal while shorthanded with just 1:05 left in regulation.
Neither side could score in the five-minute 3-on-3 overtime, and so the game went to a shootout.
Royals defenceman Kalem Parker was the only player to score on either side, helping his team secure the extra point.
Rookie Burke Hood had a solid game in net for the Giants, making 28 saves on 32 shots.
HOW TO TUNE IN
Unfortunately neither team will be broadcasting tonight’s game on the radio, and the Rockets will not be providing a video stream on WHL Live either. You can follow the Giants on X (formerly Twitter) for live updates throughout the game.