After six consecutive victories, five of which were won on the road, the Vancouver Giants dropped a 7-1 decision to the Blazers in Kamloops Wednesday night.
Now, the G-Men are suiting up to play their next game at home Friday against Victoria, and this will be one of the special games of the season. It’s the Giants annual teddy bear toss. While the puck drops at 7:30 p.m., hundreds of teddy bears will drop to the ice at Langley Events Centre shortly there after – as soon as the home team scores its first goal.
Meanwhile, looking back at Wednesday’s game in the B.C. Interior, Logan Stankoven (1G, 2A), Mats Lindgren (3A) and Viktor Persson (3A) each had three points for the B.C. division leading Blazers, who struck for five power play goals on 10 opportunities.
The Giants (13-8-1-0) lone goal came from Connor Horning on a power play early in the third period.
Dylan Garand made 20 saves for Kamloops between the pipes while Jesper Vikman and Will Gurski teamed up for 30 saves in the Giants net.
Despite the loss, the Vancouver Giants remain in fourth place in the Western Conference standings, two points up on Kelowna for fourth and four points back of Seattle for third.
BY THE NUMBERS
• 1st period:
KAM – 2:09 into the first period, Dylan Sydor snagged his fourth goal of the season, and his third of the season against the Giants. It came off a re-direct at the side of the Giants goal off a point-feed from Viktor Persson. Mats Lindgren had the second assist on the 1-0 goal.
KAM – Matthew Seminoff increased the Blazers lead to 2-0 at 12:03 on a power play rebound. Mats Lindgren’s point shot was originally turned aside by Jesper Vikman, but Seminoff found the rebound and whacked it home for his 13th of the season.
Shots: 16-10 Kamloops
• 2nd period:
KAM – Caedan Bankier extended the Kamloops lead to 3-0 on a power play marker at 6:48. The Minnesota Wild prospect parked himself in the slot, and snapped home a feed from Matthew Seminoff. Logan Stankoven had the second helper on the play.
KAM – The power play continued to roll for Kamloops at 17:25. Logan Stankoven made it a 4-0 game when he finished off a Josh Pillar pass from the left-wing circle. Mats Lindgren earned the second helper on Stankoven’s 13th of the season.
KAM – The final power play goal of the period for Kamloops came at 19:30 courtesy of Fraser Minten on a redirect at the side of the Giants goal. Viktor Persson’s pass from the right-wing point deflected off Minten and home for his seventh. Nick McCarry had the second assist.
Shots: 9 – 6 Kamloops
• 3rd period:
VAN – The lone goal of the night for the Giants came at 6:09, unassisted on a power play, courtesy of Connor Horning. The over-age defenceman stole the puck from the left-wing corner of the Blazers zone, cut to the front of the Blazers net, and slid a backhand home for his sixth goal of the season.
KAM – 28 seconds later the Blazers answered when Daylan Kuefler beat Will Gurski in alone on a forehand, backhand deke. The goal came as a result of a defensive turnover at the Giants blueline.
KAM – At 15:48 of the third, Quinn Schmiemann notched the fifth power play goal of the night for Kamloops off a seeing-eye shot from the left-wing point. Schmiemann’s seventh of the season was set up by Fraser Minten and Viktor Persson.
Shots: 12-5 Kamloops
• Final score: Kamloops 7 – Giants 1
• Final shots: 37 – 21 Kamloops
• Jesper Vikman: 20/25 saves for Vancouver
• Will Gurski: 10/12 saves for Vancouver
• Dylan Garand: 20/21 saves for Kamloops
• Vancouver power play: 1/8
• Kamloops power play: 5/10
• 3 stars: 1) Logan Stankoven (KAM – 1G, 2A); 2) Dylan Garand (KAM – 20 Saves); and 3) Mats Lindgren (3A)
• Wednesday’s loss in Kamloops marked the first road loss in a span of 27 days for the Giants who hadn’t previously lost away from home since Nov. 12, which was also in Kamloops.
• The Vancouver Giants power play has connected successfully in each of their eight previous road games dating back to Nov. 10 in Prince George.
ON THE DRAFT FRONT
In the meantime, with the 11th overall pick in the 2021 WHL prospects draft, the Vancouver Giants selected 2006-born defenceman Colton Roberts of Maple Ridge.
Roberts is a 6 ft. 1 in., 161-pound right hander, who has produced five goals and 21 assists for 26 points in 17 games so far this season with the Delta Hockey Academy’s U-17 prep program.
He’s also appeared in one game this season with the U-18 prep team, noted Vancouver Giants general manager Barclay Parneta.
“He’s made tremendous strides this year. He’s a big, strong leader on the ice,” Parneta said.
“He’s got a ton of assists, and can activate a power play. He fits our team’s identity really well, plus he’s a local kid. We’re really excited to welcome Colton Roberts and his family to our organization.”
The selection of Roberts marks the second consecutive year that the Vancouver Giants have selected a defenceman in the first round. Previous defencemen selected by Vancouver in Round 1 in recent seasons include:
- Mazden Leslie (2020)
- Bowen Byram (2016)
- Matt Barberis (2013)
The Vancouver Giants next scheduled selection is set for Round 3, pick 57.
A full recap of all of the Vancouver Giants 2021 WHL prospect draft selections will be issued later today [Thursday, Dec. 9].
To follow along with the 2021 WHL Prospects Draft you can do by clicking either of the links below:
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