Vancouver Giants wingers Ty Ronning and Tyler Benson banged away at a loose puck in front of Spokane Chiefs goaltender Jayden Sittler during Saturday night's BCHL game at the Langley Events Centre.

‘Ugly’ night at Langley Events Centre as Giants fall to visiting Spokane Chiefs

Vancouver struggled Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.

by Troy Landreville

Black Press

Maybe it was the ugly sweaters they were wearing, or the fact they had only won two of their last 10 — whatever it was, the Vancouver Giants were in a truculent mood when they played the Spokane Chiefs Saturday night at the Langley Events Centre.

On Ugly Sweater Night, the Giants and Chiefs engaged in no fewer than four fights.

In the end, the Chiefs delivered the knockout punch, dropping the G-Men 5-2 in front of a small gathering of 2,972 fans.

Giants head coach Jason McKee said “a fight’s a fight and it’s over,” and was more concerned about the bad habits the Giants showed during the loss.

“We’re not a team that’s going to win on skill,” McKee said, candidly. “As the games go on we see that we’re not the most talented team but that doesn’t mean we can’t win games. We have to find ways to win games and for us, we have to play with detail, we’re going to have to compete, and we’re going to have to have everyone playing at the best of their ability.”

Langley’s major junior team was lacking in those key categories against the feisty Chiefs.

“I told the guys that they looked like a team that was fighting for a playoff spot and in the first half of the game, we didn’t have that sense of urgency,” McKee said. “To me it’s a major red flag. Our urgency level needs top go a lot higher. To me, this was a huge game for our team and I didn’t see that same sense of urgency in our players.”

The Giants had their hands full with Kailer Yamamoto, the Chiefs leading scorer and a projected first round pick in the upcoming NHL Draft.

But he wasn’t the only Chiefs scoring threat at the LEC.

Along with Yamamoto, his big brother Keanu Yamamoto, 20, and 18-year-old Hudson Elynuik also had 30 points-plus going into the night.

The refereeing was, to put it mildly, inconsistent during a feisty and fight-filled first period, especially from a Giants’ perspective.

Setting the tone was a wild bout between Chiefs left winger Riley McKay and Giants left winger Tristyn DeRoose.

Later, Spokane’s Markson Bechtold continued to pound Giants defenceman Dylan Plouffe while he was on the ice at the end of their tussle, and surprisingly wasn’t given an additional penalty.

Then, Giants leading scorer ate an accidental elbow from a Chiefs player and, hunched down, struggled to make his way to the bench.

The only goal of the period came at the 15:24 mark when Chiefs winger Taylor Ross skated on to a puck that was shot in and fortuitously bounced off the boards right to him. Ross proceeded to blast the puck high over the blocker of Giants goaltender Ryan Kubic.

The visitors made it 2-0 at the 4:09 mark of the second period when a shot by defenceman Tyson Helgesen somehow managed to dribble past Kubic.

The Giants made it a one-goal game on a power play 8:50 into the middle frame. Johnny Wesley took a pass from Tyler Benson and made a deft move to get the puck past Chiefs goalie Jayden Sittler.

The rough stuff continued after that with Foster taking exception to a hit from behind from blueliner Jeff Faith.

Then, at the 17:14 mark of the second, Plouffe  tied the score at 2-2 on another Giants power play taking a pass from Benson at the left face off circle and snapping a great shot that beat Sittler.

The Chiefs responded soon after on a power play of their own, as Elynuik  moved in all alone and slipped a cheeky backhand shot through the legs of Kubic with 1:06 to go in the second period.

The third period saw a rarity.

At the 7:10 mark of the frame, Giants winger Ty Ronning, all 5’9” of him, even dropped the gloves, going after Chiefs defenceman Taylor Ross after he laid out Ronning’s linemate Jack Flaman with a devastating open ice hit.

“They’re a team, they’re a group and they’ve got to look after each other,” McKee said, of Ronning’s response to the hit. “If he (Ronning) felt it was the right thing to do at the right time, I don’t have a problem with that.”

On the ensuing power play, Spokane’s Eli Zummack swiped home a centring pass from right in the slot past.

Later, after killing a five-minute major,  the Chiefs essentially salted the game when the younger Yamamoto finished off a pretty passing play to make it 5-2.

The Giants finished the game without Bondra, Wesley, and Tyler Popowich, all injured to varying degrees over the course of the night.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Giants take a 1-0 playoff series lead

Vancouver beat Seattle 7-1 in game one of the best-of-seven Western Conference series in Langley

PHOTOS: ‘Enchanted Forest’ excursion unveils Aldergrove park’s new Nature Discovery Area

Atop the former Aldergrove Lake now sits a large “free play” adventure area for kids.

Aldergrove team could return as all-stars on ‘The Amazing Race Canada’

Mother and daughter duo given a second chance, though their fate rests in the hands of voters

PHOTOS: City of Langley library celebrates India’s festival of colour

Kids were invited to learn about Holi celebrations, and taste treats.

Aldergrove glow-in-the-dark swim and games for a cause

Township of Langley will celebrate Earth Hour with its first glow-in-the-dark swim in Aldergrove.

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Boy who went missing from park remains largest probe in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

Six ‘distraction thefts’ in two days spark warning to seniors by Vancouver police

Distraction thefts are used to steal jewelry off the necks of unsuspecting women

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

Motorcyclist dies after three-vehicle crash on old Island Highway

Accident happened at 12:15 p.m. Friday near Country Club Centre in Nanaimo

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Protective human chain forms around B.C. mosque for Friday prayer

Vancouver Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

B.C. fire department offers tips to keep your home safe during wildfire season

With wildfire season getting closer, the Penticton Fire Dept. offer tips to keep your home safe

Most Read