(Chris Relke/Vancouver Giants)

(Chris Relke/Vancouver Giants)

Blazers doused by Giants in overtime play at Langley Events Centre Sunday

Bowen Byram’s latest OT winner gives the G-Men a share of first heading out on a three-game road trip

If the Vancouver Giants are in overtime and fans are wondering who might notch the winner it is fair to say that Bowen Byram is the player most likely predicted to score.

On Sunday afternoon at Langley Events Centre, the Giants defenceman scored the overtime winner, the fifth time in seven Vancouver victories in the three-on-three session, this time in a 5-4 victory against a hungry Kamloops Blazers team fighting an uphill battle to earn a spot in the Western Hockey League playoffs.

The Blazers (23-31-5-2, 53 points) find themselves seven points back with seven games to play.

The Giants on the other hand have the B.C. division title wrapped up and are in a dead-heat with the Everett Silvertips for top spot and home-ice advantage throughout the Western Conference playoffs. Both teams sport identical 44-14-2-2 records for 92 points with six games to play. None of those remaining games are head-to-head.

In Sunday’s victory, Byram scored 29 seconds into overtime with the goal also tying Kevin Connaughton’s team record for goals by defencemen with 24.

“I am not too worried about that right now, I am just happy we got the win,” Byram said, admitting having his name in the team record books would be cool, but the focus right now is playing strong hockey and winning games.

“I tried to get some speed in the neutral zone and then I caught a guy flat-footed and had a little break there and managed to get it past the goalie,” he offered up on the winning play. “Overtime is fun, there is lots of space, lots of plays to be made. I think whenever you go to overtime, everyone is pretty excited. There are some nerves too.”

Coach Michael Dyck offered more insight onto just what makes the defenceman such a threat when teams are three-on-three.

“He has an instinct for catching guys with a loose guy because he can spring into open space like that.”

“He ends up catching guys on the way up when he is going full speed and there is no way they can handle it,” he said. “He can smell it. He jumped into a hole and he has done that a number of times. He can adjust the gap very well to the defender. If it’s tight, he will loosen it up and as soon as it is loose, he will attack.”

Milos Roman opened the scoring on Sunday but the lead was short-lived as less than a minute later, Jerzy Orchard tied the game and with a minute to go in the frame, Brodi Stuart scored on a two-man advantage. Tristan Nielsen tied things up with the only goal of the middle stanza and Dylan Plouffe put the Giants ahead 3-2 with a power-play marker 3:28 into the third but Stuart, the Langley native, potted his second of the night four minutes later, again on the power play.

Roman would make it 4-3 with a power-play goal with less than three minutes to play but the Blazers again pulled even, this time on Jermaine Loewen’s marker with 1:59 to go, setting up Byram’s heroics.

Vancouver is a perfect 7-0 against Kamloops and 27-3-1-2 against the B.C. division after a 7-4 win over the Kelowna Rockets at home on Friday, and then a 5-4 win in Kamloops last night.

The Giants now hit the road for three games in four nights, beginning Wednesday in Kamloops and then on Friday in Spokane and Saturday in Kennewick to face the Tri-City Americans.

STORY CONTINUES BELOW VIDEO

.

Highlights by the numbers

• Final score: Vancouver 5 – Kamloops 4 (OT)

• Final shots: 31-26 Vancouver

• Tendeck: 22/26 saves for Vancouver (22-10-1-1)

• Grand: 26/31 saves for Kamloops (6-7-1-1)

• Vancouver: 2/3 on the power play

• Kamloops: 2/4 on the power play

• 3 Stars: 1) Brodi Stuart (KAM – 2G); 2) Bowen Byram (VAN – 1G, 2A); 3) Milos Roman (VAN – 2G, 2A)

• This win helped the Giants improve to 7-0 on the season against Kamloops.

• This Giants win was recorded before a hometown crowd of 4,240 fans.

• Roman has registered three four-point games in his WHL career. Two have come this weekend. Roman had a goal and three assists on Friday against Kelowna followed by two goals and two assists Sunday against Kamloops. He finished the three-game stretch with four goals and five assists. He is also riding a nine-game point streak with seven goals and 16 points over that stretch.

• Byram’s fifth overtime winning goal leads the WHL and it also matches the most OT goals ever scored in a WHL season. Eric Fehr (Brandon Wheat Kings) had five OT winners back in 2004-05.

– Altogether, the Giants are 7-2 in overtime this season, which ties them with Brandon and Spokane for the league lead in overtime victories.

• With 70 points on the season, Giants overage forward Davis Koch has matched his previous season high for points in a single season. In 2016-17, Koch posted 70 points in 72 games. He’s earned 70 points in 62 games this season, 26 of his 70 points have been goals.

• With six games remaining in their 2018-19 regular season, the Vancouver Giants find themselves tied for first place in the Western Conference standings.

Vancouver Giants

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

(Chris Relke/Vancouver Giants)

(Chris Relke/Vancouver Giants)

(Chris Relke/Vancouver Giants)

(Chris Relke/Vancouver Giants)

(Chris Relke/Vancouver Giants)

(Chris Relke/Vancouver Giants)

(Chris Relke/Vancouver Giants)

(Chris Relke/Vancouver Giants)

Just Posted

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Jan. 24

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Dale Nordal photographed a frosty scene in late 2020. (Special to the Langley Advance Times)
SHARE: Frosty vista of Mount Baker by Langley City man

Send us your photo showing how you view Langley, and it could be featured in a future edition

On Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, the Township approved a rainbow crosswalk between the school district and RCMP buildings in Murrayville, but did not earmark funds for the project. (Langley Advance Times file)
Out On Patrol police group backs rainbow crosswalk in Langley

Urges supporters to donate to cover cost of $12,000 crossing near main RCMP detachment

Chris Wejr, principal of Aldergrove’s Shortreed Elementary, made U.S. senator Bernie Sanders a playground monitor (Twitter image)
Another Bernie Sanders meme, this time in Langley

Principal adds image of mitten-wearing U.S. senator to playground photo

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

sd
VIDEO: Mission drag racer scores 1st career win, sets world record, makes history in 2020

Justin Bond, founder and owner of JBS Equipment Mission, has break-out year

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Most Read