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Close, but not quite; Vancouver Giants lose narrow pre-season battles

Two more on tap before regular season gets underway
Giants netminder Jesper Vikman stopped 17 of 20 shots against Victoria in the team’s second pre-season game at Langley Events Centre on Sunday, Sept. 11. Royals won in overtime 3-2. (Rob Wilton/Vancouver Giants)

Vancouver Giants first two pre-season games saw the G-men suffering narrow losses, one in PoCo against Prince George on Friday, Sept. 9, and one on home ice at the Langley Events Centre against Victoria.

Friday’s match-up in front of a sold-out crowd at Jon Baillie Arena in Port Coquitlam, saw the Giants and the visiting Prince George Cougars fighting it out.

Cougars scored two goals 1:49 apart in the middle of the first period, with Terik Parascak opened the scoring 11:18 into the opening frame, and Ethan Samson followed it up with a power play goal shortly after.

Then, Sammy May got the Giants on the board with a slick goal off a pretty pass from Matty Edwards before the end of the period.

Hudson Thornton put the Cougars up 3-1 midway through the second frame off an odd man rush.

Mazden Leslie brought the Giants back within one with 4:47 to play in the second, with a seeing eye shot from the point.

In the third, after Vancouver pulled their goaltender for the man advantage, Cougars Carlin Deziande iced the game with an empty netter with 0:54 to go in the game.

Final Score: Prince George 4 – Vancouver 2

Vancouver’s Mazden Leslie and Sammy May were first and third stars of the game.

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Sunday afternoon’s game was even closer.

Giants took an early lead but the Victoria Royals just wouldn’t go away and eventually came out on top in overtime.

In the first, Giants Julian Cull scored on his hometown Victoria Royals 1:50 into the game. Sammy May added his second point in as many games with an assist on the goal.

Royals tied it up on the powerplay with 0:35 remaining in the period, a Carter Dereniwsky tally.

In the second, Slovak Import Samuel Honzek buried one at 13:44 in the middle frame to return the lead to the Giants. Assists to Roberts and Ostapchuk.

Seven minutes later, Teague Patton tied it up on a rebound in tight.

After a scoreless third period, the game went into overtime and Patton netted his second of the night to end it in favour of the Royals.

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Vancouver outshot Victoria 28 - 20.

Jesper Vikman: 17/20 saves for Vancouver

Giants Cameron Schmidt and Zack Ostapchuk were first and second stars of the game.

Next up for the Giants, a pair of games against the Kelowna Rockets next weekend.

Friday night’s matchup will be in Kelowna’s Prospera Place at 7:05 p.m., and Saturday’s duel will be in Maple Ridge at Cam Neely Arena at 7 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door.

Giants’ first regular season game will be at the LEC against Seattle Thunbderbirds on Friday, Sept. 23. Puck drops at 7:30 p.m.

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