Saturday night at Prospera Place in Kelowna the Vancouver Giants (48-15-3-2) dropped a 3-2 overtime decision to the Kelowna Rockets in their final regular season game of 2018-19.
Mark Liwiski scored at 3:40 of overtime to extend the Kelowna Rockets season to at least Tuesday night.
Justin Sourdif and Jadon Joseph responded with goals for the Giants who also got 32 saves from goaltender David Tendeck. Brayden Watts assisted on both Giants goals.
Giants got on the board first at 12:46 into the first period when Sourdif converted off a Dallas Hines rebound. Brayden Watts also assisted on Sourdif’s power play marker. The Giants finished their night one-for-one on the power play.
But 80 seconds later the Rockets caught a break when Cayde Augustine’s shot from the left-wing point bounced off a Giants defenceman and past David Tendeck to tie the game at 1-1.
In the second period, Alex Swetlikoff put Kelowna ahead 2-1 at 15:29 when he converted off his own rebound off a wrap-around chance.
With less than a minute remaining in the game and their net empty, the Giants tied the game 2-2 whenJoseph’s blast from the right-wing point snuck through traffic and by Rockets netminder Roman Basran and sending the game into overtime.
For Joseph, it was his 22nd of the season and was assisted by both Brayden Watts and Milos Roman.
After they were unable to convert on an overtime power play, the Kelowna Rockets extended their season when Mark Liwiski charged wide down the left-wing and placed a low shot through David Tendeck’s legs to give the Rockets the 3-2 victory and force a one-game playoff play-in game with Kamloops on Tuesday night.
Final Shots: 35-21 Kelowna
David Tendeck: 32/35 saves for Vancouver (24-10-2-1)
Roman Basran: 19/21 saves for Kelowna (20-19-3-1)
Vancouver: 1/1 on the Power Play
Kelowna: 0/2 on the Power Play
1. Alex Swetlikoff (Kelowna, one goal, one assist)
2. Roman Basran (Kelowna, 19 Saves)
3. David Tendeck (Vancouver, 32 Saves)
Justin Sourdif ended his rookie season with 23 goals for the Giants, the third most goals ever scored by a Giants 16-year-old.
Dawson Holt suited up in his 200th career WHL game on Saturday for the Giants.
Joel Sexsmith made his 2018-19 Giants debut on Saturday.
A ninth overall pick from the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft, Sexsmith has posted five goals and seven assists for 12 points in 15 games this season with the Delta Hockey Academy.
With 101 points on the season the Giants finished atop the Western Conference standings, one point ahead of the Everett Silvertips.
Next Giants Game is Friday, March 22nd at home against Seattle in game one of their first-round best-of-seven series.