The effort was better and they likely deserved a better fate, but the Vancouver Giants failed to finish on their chances – costing them once again.
Ahead 2-0 (with their opponent having mustered just three shots on goal to that point compared to their 14), the Giants were blanked the rest of the way, dropping a 3-2 decision to the visiting Everett Silvertips on Friday night in Western Hockey League action at Langley Events Centre.
Everett improved to 9-3-0-0 while Vancouver’s record fell to 7-8-0-0 as the team has lost three of their past four games.
Coming off a poor effort in their previous game, a 3-1 loss on home-ice on Sunday, the Giants were full marks for their 2-0 lead.
Dylan Plouffe opened the scoring just past the 11:00 mark with the team skating four-on-four. The Giants power play then doubled the lead less than five minutes later with Tristan Nielsen intercepting a clearing attempt in the zone and freezing Everett goaltender Dustin Wolf with a fake shot and instead sliding the puck to Cole Shepard along the side with Shepard firing home the team’s first power-play goal in five games.
But an offensive zone penalty (Sergei Alkhimov was whistled for closing his hand on the puck) gave the Silvertips some life. While the Giants killed that penalty, Martin Fasko-Rudas redirected a point shot in the final minute of the frame to get the Silvertips on the board.
Wyatte Wylie and Jackson Berezowski added power-play goals 2:19 apart in the second period giving the Silvertips a 3-2 lead despite the fact they were being outshot 20-10 at the midway point of the game.
“We were ready to go, we were prepared and I think the first period was indicative of that. I liked our compete, I liked how physical we were tonight … we deserved a better fate,” lamented Giants head coach Michael Dyck. “The littlest mistakes right now are costing us.”
Also not helping the team’s cause was the fact after their first-period power play, Everett received the next six man-advantage opportunities, scoring on two of those. That string finally ended with 4:30 to go in the game.
While his team was guilty of some of the infractions, the discrepancy in minor penalties did not go unnoticed by the head coach.
“Some of the penalties we deserved, some we didn’t (but) I think they deserved a few,” Dyck said.
Four of those six penalties were in the second period alone and once Vancouver was able to stay out of the box, the team responded with a strong third period, firing 13 shots on goal as part of a 36-shot effort over the course of the game. That total does not include a pair of crossbars and one post, all of which came in the final four minutes.
The Giants wrap up a four-game homestand on Sunday afternoon as they host the Prince George Cougars. Game time is 4 p.m. and it is also Trick or Suite night with fans who dress up for Halloween getting a jump on their trick or treating by visiting the suites for some treats during the first and second intermissions.
For tickets, visit www.vancouvergiants.com/tickets.