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Coach questions compete level after yet another loss

Vancouver falls 5-1 to Portland Winterhawks, getting outshot 56-18 in the process
Vancouver Giants defeneman Jeff Rayman (#5) and Portland Winterhawks forward Lane Gilliss get up close and personal during the second period of the teams' WHL game at the Langley Events Centre.

Gary Ahuja

Black Press

They showed some fight in the third period but a woeful 40 minutes were too much to overcome.

The Portland Winterhawks led 3-0 after two periods — and the shots were 36-9 in favour of the visitors at that point — to defeat the Vancouver Giants 5-1.

The Western Hockey League teams were playing on Wednesday night at the Langley Events Centre with the Giants dropping their fourth straight contest.

“It is just unacceptable. There is a lot of evaluation going on right now (and) it is disappointing some guys didn’t compete hard enough to at least keep us in the game,” said Vancouver coach Jason McKee.

The Winterhawks outshot Vancouver by a three-to-one margin, firing 56 shots at Ryan Kubic, the game’s third star after his 51-save performance.

Portland opened the scoring 8:23 into the game, 10 seconds after they went not he power play with Keegan Iverson deflecting a Caleb Jones shot past Kubic.

Jake Gricius doubled the lead 5:53 into the second, getting behind the Vancouver defence and roofing a back-hander to make it 2-0.

Portland’s power play would connect for a second time as Iverson scored from the slot with 4:09 to play in the period.

The Giants showed more jump in the final frame and were rewarded when Matt Barberis banged home a loose puck past Cole Kehler 2:47 into the third. Johnny Wesley picked up the lone helper on the goal.

“We riled some feathers there and got some guys going in the third, but by then it is too late,” McKee said.

Vancouver did have a few more chances after that, including a pair of goal posts, but could not get any closer and Portland iced the game with an empty-net goal from Matt Revel with 1:50 to play and then Gricius’ second of the night — again on the power play — after he got behind the Giants defence and slipped the puck under Kubic.

The two teams are back at it as they both head to Portland for a pair of games Friday and Saturday night to wrap up a three-game series.



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