VANCOUVER - Brandon McMillan's second-period short-handed goal proved to be the winner as the Kelowna Rockets defeated the Vancouver Giants 4-2 in WHL action Monday afternoon.
It was Kelowna's first victory in three meetings with the defending Memorial Cup-champion Giants this season. The clubs will play each other 10 times before the 2007-08 campaign ends.
Vancouver outshot the Rockets 29-21 but were often stymied by Rockets goaltender Kristofer Westblom, who made several key saves late in the game. Both the Rockets and Giants went 1-for-6 on the power play.
Jamie Benn and Tyson Barrie, in the first period, and James McEwan, in the third, also tallied for the Rockets who improved to 3-3-1-0 on the season.
Michal Repik and Mike Piluso replied for the Giants, who suffered their first regulation-time loss and are now 4-1-1-1.
McMillan put the Rockets ahead 3-1 at 7:56 of the middle period while teammate Kyle St. Denis was serving a checking-from-behind penalty. Piluso scored in a scramble to reduce Vancouver's deficit to 3-2 at 15:49.
Vancouver had the potential tying goal by Evander Kane disallowed at 4:06 of the third period because the referees ruled the whistle had already blown as Kelowna's Tyler Myers was being penalized for holding.
McEwan's shot from the slot with about seven minutes left in the game erased any doubt about the outcome.
After Repik had opened the scoring for Vancouver on a power play 9:03 into the game, Benn and Barrie scored about five minutes apart to give Kelowna a 2-1 lead after a penalty-filled first period.