The Kelowna Rockets are blasting off at just the right moment.
Jamie Benn scored the overtime winner as Kelowna rallied to defeat the Vancouver Giants 3-2 in WHL action Saturday night.
With the win, the Rockets are 12-0 against playoff-bound teams since Feb. 1 and 15-2-0-1 overall, enough to elevate Kelowna to third place in the Western Conference.
The Rockets were winless in five games against Vancouver prior to February, but have won all three meetings since, holding the Giants' high-powered offence to just six goals while scoring 12 of their own.
Colin Long, with his 32nd goal, and Tyler Myers also scored for Kelowna (43-21-1-3), which scored three unanswered goals after trailing 2-0 midway through the second period. Long made 2-1 just before the end of the second, then Myers levelled the score early in the third with a long point shot following a pass from Long in the far corner.
The Rockets have won four straight and eight of their last 10.
Elsewhere in the WHL, it was: Seattle 6, Tri-City 0; Lethbridge 4, Saskatoon 3; Brandon 2, Regina 1; Kootenay 4, Medicine Hat 1; Red Deer 4, Swift Current 3; Spokane 5, Prince George 2; and Chilliwack 5, Portland 3.
At Kelowna, B.C., Garry Nunn, with his 25th goal of the season, and J.T. Barnett, with his first, scored for Vancouver (55-8-2-3), which, for just the second time this season, suffered back-to-back losses. In early October, the Giants suffered back-to-back shootout decisions, though Vancouver has not lost back-to-back games in regulation time.
Mark Guggenberger made 29 saves for the Rockets, who have four regular-season games remaining, including two home dates. Tyson Sexsmith stopped 21 shots for the Giants.
Thunderbirds 6, Americans 0
At Kent, Wash., rookie goaltender Calvin Pickard had 24 saves to pick up his third shutout and 21st win of the season as the Thunderbirds ended a three-game losing streak by blanking Tri-City.
Greg Scott opened the scoring with his 29th goal of the season and added two assists for Seattle (32-31-1-4). Devon LeBlanc, Sena Acolatse, Jeremy Boyer, Chris Cloud and Brenden Silvester also scored.
Brett Martyniuk started in net for the Americans (48-17-0-3), but was pulled after allowing four goals on 12 shots. Drew Owsley stopped 14 of 16 in replacement.
Hurricanes 4, Blades 3
At Saskatoon, Mitch Versteeg and Dwight King scored third-period goals to lift Lethbridge over the Blades.
Kyle Beach had a goal and an assist and Zach Boychuk also scored for the Hurricanes (34-29-3-2).
Gaelan Patterson scored a pair and Derek Hulak added another for Saskatoon (48-17-3-1).
Wheat Kings 2, Pats 1
At Regina, Aaron Lewadniuk scored the winner and added an assist as Brandon edged the Pats.
Nathan Green also scored for the Wheat Kings (46-18-3-2).
Matt Robertson had the lone goal for Regina (26-36-1-5).
Rebels 4, Broncos 3
At Red Deer, Alta., Colin Archer's empty-net goal with 37 seconds remaining was the winner as the Rebels overthrew Swift Current.
Brett Ferguson, Willie Coetzee and Connor Redmond also scored for Red Deer (23-36-1-9).
Michael Stickland, with two goals, and Justin Dowling replied for Swift Current (39-28-1-1).
Chiefs 5, Cougars 2
At Prince George, B.C., Tyler Johnson had a goal and two assists to lead Spokane past the Cougars.
Mitch Wahl scored the winner midway through the third and added an assist, while Levko Koper also had a goal and an assist for the Chiefs (43-22-0-3). Drayson Bowman also scored.
Brian Matte had a goal and an assist and Marek Viedensky added a goal for Prince George (25-41-0-2).
Ice 4, Tigers 1
At Medicine Hat, Alta., Tylan Stephens scored the eventual winner late in the second period as Kootenay booted the Tigers.
Joe Antilla, Steele Boomer and Brayden McNabb all scored for the Ice (33-27-2-6).
Brennan Bosch had the lone marker for Medicine Hat (35-27-4-3).
Bruins 5, Winter Hawks 3
At Chilliwack, B.C., Ryan Howse scored twice as the Bruins came back to down Portland.
Brandon Manning had a goal and two assists, while Kevin Sundher and Alexander Wiklund also scored for Chilliwack (16-46-2-5), which rallied from a 3-0 deficit and scored four goals in the third.
Troy Rutkowski, Chris Francis and Stefan Schneider replied for the Winter Hawks (17-46-2-2).