Vancouver Giants win streak has hit double digits.
The Giants completed the home-and-home sweep of the Seattle Thunderbirds on Monday afternoon with a 3-2 victory at Langley Events Centre to push their win streak to 10 games – the longest for the hockey club since the 2008/09 season.
RECAP: The Giants captured their 10th consecutive victory Monday in front of 4300-plus at the @LangleyEvents. Eric Florchuk had three points and Trent Miner had 23 saves in a 3-2 Giants victory over Seattle.— Vancouver Giants (@WHLGiants) February 18, 2020
More 📎: https://t.co/xHrVAkbV8p
📸: Rob Wilton + Stanley Lee pic.twitter.com/0r1tupTEyK
That season also saw the club post 11 consecutive victories, which they will look to match when they host the Calgary Hitmen on Friday night at Langley Events Centre.
Head coach Michael Dyck knows his team is focused on the game-to-game aspects of the season.
“We are not too concerned about streaks; we are concerned on building momentum for the playoffs,” he said.
“As long as we have everyone buy in, we will continue to have success.”
Vancouver’s run has put them back in the B.C. Division race for second place and home-ice in the first round of the playoffs as the Giants (29-20-3-2, 63 points) sit one point back of Victoria (29-20-5-1, 64 points) but do still have a game in hand.
The Giants power-play potted a pair of goals in the first period with Bowen Byram and Tristen Nielsen each finding the back of the net in a dominant period which saw Vancouver outshoot Seattle 12-3.
The teams traded goals in the middle period as Connor Roulette got the visitors on the board only to have Eric Florchuk restore the two-goal lead. The final goal came with 47 seconds to play from Seattle’s Simon Kubicek.
Vancouver’s penalty kill came up huge on the night, blanking all four Seattle opportunities, including having to kill 3:00 of five-minute major to Byram (and game misconduct) with just over half a period to play.
“Our penalty kill has been good all year long and it stepped up at the right time and the guys did a great job,” Dyck said.
Florchuk finished with a goal and two assists as he extended his point streak to 11 games (four goals, 15 assists) while Byram’s goal and assist pushed his point streak to nine games. This was also the fourth straight game he scored and he now has multi-point games in seven of his past nine games.
Nielsen’s goal was his team-leading 28th and he has goals in five straight and seven of the past eight games.
The final shots on goal were 39-25 for Vancouver with Seattle goaltender Blake Lyda earning third-star honours after a 36-save performance. Trent Miner made 23 saves for Vancouver as he won his fourth straight start.
The Giants are off until Friday when they host Calgary and they travel to Everett to battle the Silvertips on Saturday night. This will be the last quiet stretch for the club as they finish off the WHL regular season by twice playing six games in nine days.
BY THE NUMBERS – GIANTS ARE 8-0 IN FEBRUARY
VAN – Bowen Byram (9) got the ball rolling offensively for the Giants at 13:13 with a power play goal. For Byram it extended his point streak to nine straight games, and his goal-streak to four games. Eric Florchuk and Milos Roman had the assists.
VAN – Tristen Nielsen (28) made it 2-0 on a power play goal at 17:06. For Nielsen, it marked the fifth straight game with a goal. Bowen Byram and Eric Florchuk both helped set it up.
Shots: 12-3 Vancouver
SEA – Thunderbirds rookie Conner Roulette put Seattle on the board with his 17th of the season at 2:33. Roulette did well to shrug off a couple of Giants defenders before converting. Payton Mount had the lone assist.
VAN – Exactly seven minutes later at 9:33, Eric Florchuk padded the Giants lead to 3-1 when he knocked home a Michal Kvasnica pass from beside the Seattle goal. Tyler Preziuso earned the second assist on the play, giving Florchuk 19 goals on the season.
Shots: 16-10 Vancouver
SEA – With 43 seconds left in the third, Simon Kubicek’s shot from the left point snuck through traffic and in, giving him seven goals on the season. Conner Roulette earned his second point of the game, with an assist.
Shots: 12-11 Seattle
Final score: Vancouver 3 – Seattle 2
Final shots: 39 – 25 Vancouver
Trent Miner: 23/25 saves for Vancouver (12-7-2-1)
Blake Lyda: 36/39 saves for Seattle (3-8-0-0)
Vancouver power play: 2/4
Seattle power play: 0/4
3 Stars: Eric Florchuk (VAN – 1G, 2A); Bowen Byram (VAN – 1G, 1A); and Blake Lyda (SEA – 36 Saves)
Is there more to this story?