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The Vancouver Giants squared off with the Portland Winterhawks last Monday, dropping a 5-4 decision in Portland. Winterhawks winger Sven Bartschi, drafted by the Flames 13th overall, and a hat trick and a helper.
This game was chippy, featuring multiple fights and the ejection of Portland’s Brendan Leipsic before the end of the first period.
Friday, the Giants kicked off a home-and-home with the Everett Silvertips at the Pacific Coliseum.
The Giants easily handled the 9th place Silvertips, denying them an opportunity to edge closer to a playoff spot. Neil Manning had a goal and an assist for Vancouver.
The following night saw a re-match in Everett, one where Silvertips stopper Kent Simpson stole the show. Despite outshooting Everett 43-28, the Giants fell to the Silvertips 4-2. Cody Fowlie had a goal and two assists for Everett in another rough and tumble game for the Giants, who are second in the WHL for team penalty minutes.
It’s a busy week for the Vancouver Giants, who will play five games in six days beginning on Valentine’s Day on the road against the Tri-City Americans. The Americans currently occupy second in the Western Conference and boost a fearsome top line of Brendan Shinnimin, Adam Hughesman, and Patrick Holland. The trio has 85, 84, and 72 points respectively this year. As if that wasn’t enough, goaltender Ty Rimmer could well be the best goaltender in the league.
The following night the Giants will be in Spokane to take on the Chiefs in what would be a playoff preview if the season ended today. The Chiefs are led on the blueline by stalwart Brendan Kichton, who has 57 points this year.
The Giants will be back in Vancouver for a single game Friday night, taking on the Edmonton Oil Kings, first in the Eastern Conference. The Oil Kings have a standout goalie in Laurent Brossoit and have a fantastic one-two punch up front with Michael St Croix and Dylan Wruck.
The following night, Saturday, the Giants will find themselves back in Everett to take on the Silvertips once again and will finish up the week with a home date on Sunday against the Red Deer Rebels who are currently struggling to stay alive in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
News & Notes
Brendan Gallagher’s goal last Friday was number 126 in his career with the Vancouver Giants, tying for the club record with Adam Courchaine. Gallagher has 31 goals and 63 points in 39 games this year.
The Giants are in the middle of a dispute between the Sungod Skating Club and the city of Delta. The club currently skates at the Tilbury Arena but has petitioned to have their ice time moved to the Sungod Arena, where the Giants currently train and practice. The skating club would like to see the Giants move to the smaller Tilbury Arena where there are no gym facilities. The club wrote a letter to Delta council implying the Giants were using financial muscle to secure optimal ice time which was news to Vice-President Peter Toigo, who was was completely unaware of the conflict.
In the Community
When the Giants host the Oil Kings this Friday, 500 lucky fans will walk away with a Cody Franson bobblehead doll as part of the latest Giants Alumni Night as Cody Franson as inducted into the Giant Ring of Honour. Fans can also score some free Cody Franson posters.
The Vancouver Giants have announced a partnership with CKNW’s Pink Shirt Day on February 29 in to raise awareness of bulling and send a message that it will not be tolerated. For more information on the campaign or to purchase an official Pink Shirt Day pink shirt, I respectfully bully you to click here.
The Vancouver Giants announced the signing of Richmond native Carter Popoff last week.
The 5’9″ centre had 19 goals and 52 points in 35 games with the Richmond Sockeyes in the Pacific International Junior Hockey League.
It could be a Valentine’s Day Massacre when the Giants and Tri-City Americans lock horns on the 14th. At the least, it will be a highly entertaining game against two Western Conference powerhouses and could be the game in which Brendan Gallagher becomes the Giants’ all-time goal scoring leader.