Vancouver Giants dropped a 3-1 decision to the Kelowna Rockets Saturday night, Jan. 29, at Prospera Place in Kelowna.
Rockets struck three times in a span of five minutes and 47 seconds in the third period to erase a 1-0 deficit.
John Babcock, Jake Poole, and Pavel Novak supplied the offense for Kelowna while the lone Giants goal came via defenceman Evan Toth in the first period.
Jesper Vikman made 28 saves for the Langley-based Giants while Talyn Boyko stopped 24 Giants shots.
Both teams finished zero-for-four on the power play, but the Rockets did have one shorthanded marker.
Toth opened the scoring for the G-Men as the third man in off the rush at 13:09 of the first.
Ty Thorpe slid a pass to Toth who accepted it on the left-wing, made a drag-move to the middle of the slot and wired it past Boyko.
Justin Lies had the second assist.
Toth has now matched his previous season high for goals in a season. He also posted two goals during the 2019-20 season with Calgary as a 17-year-old rookie.
Just before the half-way point of the third period, Babcock evened the score for Kelowna when his shot from above the left-wing circle found its way through traffic and in. Max Graham had the lone assist at 9:53.
One minute and 26 seconds later, Kelowna’s Poole finished off a three-way passing effort with Noah Dorey and Mark Liwiski. Poole took the feed from Dorey, went in alone on Jesper Vikman and finished off a backhand deke to give Kelowna the lead.
Novak provided some insurance for Kelowna at 15:40 when the Minnesota Wild prospect scored an unassisted shorthanded goal which came from the right-wing circle.
Saturday’s loss marked the first time that the Giants had lost a game in regulation when leading after two periods. The Giants are now 13-1-1-0 this season when taking a lead into the third period.
Giants remain seventh in the Western Conference standings with their 16-20-2-0 record (34 points). They are two points back of Prince George for sixth and they sit five points ahead of Victoria for seventh.
Game highlights video can be viewed online at whl.ca.
Next up, a Sunday home tilt with the Kamloops Blazers at Langley Events Centre at 4 p.m.
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