Vancouver’s Bowen Byram crashes with Calgary’s Mark Kastelic during the Giants’s 4-1 win on Wednesday night at the LEC. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Giants get back in win column

Not the prettiest of efforts, but the Vancouver Giants do enough to earn the win at Langley Events Centre

It wasn’t a masterpiece, but it was a victory.

The Vancouver Giants won for the first time in five games, knocking off the Calgary Hitmen 4-1 on Wednesday night at the Langley Events Centre in Western Hockey League action.

The victory improves Vancouver to 26-16-5-3 and their 60 points have them in third place in the B.C. Division.

The Hitmen fell to 15-29-5-1 and the team is well back of a playoff position.

“We were good enough to win the game tonight. I wouldn’t say we were great … but we did enough to win the game,” said Giants head coach Jason McKee.

“We talk about valuing the right play, valuing the simple play. And our group gets into trouble when we don’t do that (and) we try to do too much.

“When we value the simple things we tend to play much better. Tonight we kind of wavered back and forth on that.”

Vancouver had just a pair of overtime losses in their past four games as the team improved to 2-2-1-1 on their season-high eight-game home-stand.

The team was blanked in both of their regulation losses, prompting some line juggling for Wednesday’s game.

And the moves paid off as Davis Koch scored his first in a Giants uniform, taking a pass from Dylan Plouffe and skating to the face-off circle and wiring a shot short-side on Hitmen goalie Nick Schneider just before the midway point of the first period.

“It took me a couple games but it was good to finally get it,” Koch said.

In his first five games since joining the team from Edmonton, Koch has alternated between centre and wing up and down the team’s top three lines.

On Wednesday, he found himself at centre, flanking Brayden Watts and Ty Ronning while James Malm was re-united with Tyler Benson and Dawson Holt was on the other wing to make up the team’s top two lines.

Benson did spend some time with Ronning and Koch as well and the trio finished a combined +6. Koch was +3.

“I think we needed a change, a little bit of a spark,” McKee said.

Tyler Popowich, who has spent time in the top six with Milos Roman still on the shelf, was centring the fourth line, and he scored what turned out to be the game-winner, banging home a rebound off an Aidan Barfoot rebound less than five minutes into the second period.

Ronning extended the lead to 3-0 less than six minutes later on a delayed penalty as the winger re-directed a pass from Benson for his first goal in four games.

Vancouver Canucks prospect Jakob Stukel one-timed a pass from Riley Stotts four minutes into the third, but that would be the only puck to elude David Tendeck, as the goaltender made 27 saves.

“Dave made some key saves at key times or else it could have been different,” McKee said.

After Calgary got on the board, the Giants did a good job of limiting the Hitmen scoring opportunities, holding them to three shots in the period until a late flurry bumped that up to seven shots in the period.

Ronning iced the game with an empty-netter, his 44th of the season, which puts him four back of tying Evander Kane’s team record 48 goals.

The coach was concerned with his team’s power play, especially considering they had three man-advantage opportunities in the first 11 minutes of the final period, but could not find a goal to put the game to bed.

For the game, the Giants finished 0-for-4.

“It just wasn’t sharp and our retrieval isn’t where we need it to be. They (Calgary) were winning races, they were harder on their sticks and they were simply shooting it down the ice. Our guys need to be harder in those areas,” the coach said.

“We are not winning face-offs to start (so) we are coming 200 feet (and) our decisions haven’t been real sharp.

“We have been getting some decent looks but pucks seem to be bouncing off our sticks.For whatever reason, it just doesn’t seem to be going right now but we have to get it turned around quickly here.”

The Giants are back in action when they host the same Hitmen squad tonight (Friday) at the LEC with a 7:30 p.m. puck drop.

Vancouver wraps up their home stand the following night with a 7 p.m. game against the Medicine Hat Tigers.



sports@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Vancouver GiantsWHL

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

 

The Vancouver Giants ended a four-game slide with a 4-1 win over the Calgary Hitmen at the Langley Events Centre. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Matt Barberis and the Vancouver Giants ended a four-game slide with a 4-1 win over the Calgary Hitmen at the Langley Events Centre. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Vancouver Giants’ Owen Hardy. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Tyler Ho bears down on Calgary’s Zach Huber. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Giants’ Justin Sourdif. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Just Posted

Township looks at ‘next possible steps’ to re-open Walnut Grove pool to competition

Review is only an update, not ‘prescriptive,’ mayor Froese cautioned

Fort Langley artists extend traditional season on virtual gallery

Group’s latest exhibition is a seasonally themed show called Autumn Bounty

Falling tree claims life in Langley

Victim was reportedly out for a walk on a rural road

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Most Read