VANCOUVER, B.C. - For the second game in a row, the Vancouver Giants needed some third period heroics to remain unbeaten in regulation on home ice.
Mike Piluso scored with just over two minutes remaining in the game to give the Giants a 3-2 victory over the Kelowna Rockets in Western Hockey League action Monday. Following a bad clearance from Collin Bowman, Giants forward James Wright fed Piluso for his ninth of the season.
In 20 home games this season, the Giants have an impressive 18-0-0-2 record.
Casey Pierro-Zabotel had two points and Tyson Sexsmith made 16 saves for his 20th victory for the Giants (30-2-0-3). Kris Lazaruk made 34 saves and Evan Bloodoff had a goal and an assist in a losing effort for the Rockets (21-15-0-0).
The teams are first and second in the WHL's B.C. Division, with the Giants holding a massive 21 point lead over second-place Kelowna.
Kelowna jumped into the lead at 11:42 of the first period. With Giants' Todd Kennedy in the penalty box for checking from behind, Bloodoff deflected in a shot from the right point for his tenth goal of the season.
Vancouver tied the game at 14:46. Craig Cunningham unleashed a rocket that beat Lazaruk just after a Kelowna penalty expired.
Kelowna scored their second power play goal in the final minute of the period. Mitchell Callahan scored his eighth goal of the season with a close range shot off a pass from Bloodoff.
The Giants controlled the play in the second period. But Lazaruk was outstanding, making 14 saves and keeping the Rockets in front by one goal after two periods of play.
Vancouver tied it up at 12:13 of the third. Pierro-Zabotel fed a cross-ice pass to Craig Schira who scored Vancouver's only power-play goal in seven opportunities on the evening.