Vancouver Giants head coach Michael Dyck issued a public thank you to the fans of the Langley-based team for their support, saying there was a noticeable increase in enthusiasm during the playoffs, which unfortunately ended with an overtime loss against the Kamloops Blazers on Thursday, April 6 before 3,401 at Langley Events Centre.
“The support we got was fantastic this year,” Dyck commented.
“We really noticed a difference, especially down the stretch.”
Dyck praised the team for being “a resilient group.”
Game 4 was an example of that, Dyck said, after the team came back from three lopsided losses in the best-of-seven series to force the fourth game into overtime.
“We played our best game of the series,” Dyck said.
“[I’m] really proud of how our team competed.”
1/2 📹"We played our best game of the series. Really proud of how our team competed tonight."— Vancouver Giants (@WHLGiants) April 7, 2023
Head Coach Michael Dyck post game after a 5-4 Blazers OT win in game 4. pic.twitter.com/Ns2bqXHukz
Giants provided their best performance of the series in Game 4 on home ice, and put four goals in the Blazer net, but dropped a 5-4 decision in overtime.
Captain Ty Thorpe scored a hat trick, and goaltender Jesper Vikman made 62 saves, but eventually Kamloops converted in the extra period to take the series.
Ty Thorpe opened the scoring with his first of the series, just 5:06 into the game for Vancouver’s first lead of the series. Samuel Honzek and Mazden Leslie assisted.
Kamloops’ Ryan Hofer tied the game 1:45 later with a deflection in front of Giants goaltender Jesper Vikman.
Hofer put the Blazers ahead 9:34 later when he batted in a bouncing puck in the slot.
Thorpe sniped home his second of the night with a shorthanded goal with 0:31 remaining in the first, with Damian Palmieri and netminder Jesper Vikman getting credit for setting up the goal.
Connor Levis scored with 1.7 seconds left in the period to make it 3-2 Kamloops.
After a scoreless second period, just 0:52 into the third, Thorpe completed the hat trick with his third of the night on the powerplay in his final Western Hockey League game. Samuel Honzek and Dylan Anderson assisted.
Olen Zellweger put in a rebound with 16:15 left to bring Kamloops ahead once again.
Skyler Bruce tied the game with a power play goal with 5:00 left in regulation time. Thorpe and Honzek assisted.
In overtime, Zellweger scored the series winner with a point shot that was deflected twice on the way to the net with 1.5 seconds left.
Kamloops outshot Vancouver 67-35.
All three stars of the game were Giants: in order, Thorpe, Vikman and Anderson.
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