Wednesday night in Medicine Hat the Vancouver Giants (23-11-2-0) dropped a 4-3 decision to the Medicine Hat Tigers (21-15-2-1).
Tigers captain James Hamblin led the Tigers with two goals and an assist.
Bowen Byram had two assists in response for the Langley-based Giants, who received goals from Davis Koch, Justin Sourdif, and Lukas Svejkovsky.
Jordan Hollett earned the win in goal for the Tigers turning aside 29 of Vancouver’s 32 shots, while the G-Men’s netminder, David Tendeck, stopped 32 of 36 fired from the Medicine Hat Tigers.
With the game still scoreless, Tendeck made a sensational lunging glove save off Daniel Baker to keep the game tied.
Moments later though the Tigers made it 1-0 when Hamblin potted his first of two on the night off an odd-man rush. Hamblin’s goal came at 15:13. Shots were 15-6 for the Tigers in the opening period.
A pair of goals 22 seconds apart helped vault the Giants ahead of the Tigers in the early stages of the second period.
Koch one-timed a Byram feed past Hollett at 1:07 to tie the game.
Then Sourdif roofed his eight of the season up and over the shoulder of Hollett at 1:29 to give the Giants the 2-1.
Later in the period though, the Tigers struck twice in quick succession.
Off a defensive-zone turnover, Hamblin skated in close before roofing his 23rd of the season over the left shoulder of Tendeck off a backhand shot.
Then, 33 seconds later Elijah Brown one-timed a Dylan MacPherson pass from the left-wing point into an open net to help Medicine Hat regain the lead.
Shots were 16-14 for the Tigers who led 3-2 after 40 minutes.
Hayden Ostir gave the Tigers a two-goal lead at 8:48 on a power play when he parked himself in front of the Giants net and deflected Hamblin’s shot home for his eighth.
Less than three minutes later Svejkovsky answered for the Giants with his third of the season, which came off a Dylan Plouffe rebound.
With under two minutes to go the Giants pulled their goaltender and put a lot of pressure on the Medicine Hat goal, but were unable to complete the comeback despite outshooting the Tigers 13-5 in the final period.
The Giants play next on Friday night in Lethbridge, against the Hurricanes.
BY THE NUMBERS
• Final score: Medicine Hat Tigers 4 – Vancouver Giants 3
• Final shots: 36 – 32 Medicine Hat
• Jordan Hollett – 29/32 saves for Medicine Hat (10-11)
• David Tendeck – 32-36 saves for Vancouver (13-8-1-0)
• Medicine Hat Power Play: 1/4
• Vancouver Power Play: 0/1
• Three stars:
1) James Hamblin (MH – 2G, 1A)
2) Bowen Byram (VAN – 2A)
3) Hayden Ostir (MH – 1G, GWG)
• With two more assists to his credit, 2019 NHL Draft prospect Bowen Byram now has nine goals and 22 assists for 31 points, which ranks him second on the team in scoring and tied for fifth in WHL scoring among defencemen.
• Rookie forward Justin Sourdif leads all Giants rookies in both goals (8) and points (15). He’s also tied for the team lead in plus-minus with a +8 rating.
• All three of Lukas Svejkovsky’s goals this season have come on the road.
• Wednesday’s loss to the Tigers marks the first time all season that the Giants have dropped three games in a row.
• Earlier in the day the Vancouver Giants made a trade with the Saskatoon Blades acquiring 2000-born defenceman Seth Bafaro in exchange for a draft pick. He will join the team in Lethbridge ahead of Friday’s game with the Hurricanes.