Vancouver Giants’ Brendan Semchuk (above

Giants debut with home-ice loss

Result aside, Vancouver Western Hockey League season opener a success at Langley Events Centre

Like a kid at Christmas who gets the toy they want, Langley hockey fans received the gift of Western Hockey League action. Unfortunately for the fans, their shiny new toy didn’t quite work as well as they hoped it would.

The Giants made their much anticipated Langley Events Centre regular season debut on Friday night, falling 7-3 to the visiting Everett Silvertips.

The teams also played the next night at Everett’s XFINITY Arena, with the home side taking it by a 3-1 score.

Dawson Holt scored twice in the opener while Jack Flaman had a goal in both games for the Giants.

Results aside, the game was a success with 4,875 fans taking in the action.

“It is a smaller, more intimate atmosphere than we are accustomed to in Vancouver,” said WHL commissioner Ron Robison, who was in attendance for the game.

“It is a great feel to the building. It has got all the things we want (and) I think it is a great experience for the players to play in a building this full every night.”

The commissioner also commended the Township for stepping up and making the necessary improvements to the LEC. This included new rink boards and LED lighting.

“The experience for the fans and the players and from a broadcast standpoint is exactly what we are looking for,” Robison said.

Friday’s game began with a tribute to the late Gordie Howe, whose family is part owner of the Giants.

The team played a tribute video to the hockey legend and wore special jerseys honouring the man known as ‘Mr. Hockey.’

The Giants also raised Howe’s number nine to the rafters.

And when the game started, the Silvertips raced out to a 4-0 lead, leading 5-1 after 20 minutes. By comparison, Vancouver had just five shots on goal in that period.

The game also featured a pair of Langley products, one on each side.

“I saw a lot of friends and family, even on the Jumbotron. It gives you a little extra energy when you look up and see your jersey or your parents and cousins and stuff like that,” said Everett winger Spencer Gerth.

Gerth estimated he had close to 50 family and friends in attendance.

“It was kind of a surreal experience; (playing in your hometown) is not something a lot of guys get to do,” he said.

“And this is where I played my midget hockey (with the Valley West Hawks); I was sitting in my stall that I sat in (during) midget, so that was pretty cool.”

For the Giants’ James Malm, there were 20 or 30 family and friends in the crowd at the LEC.

“I must not be as popular as (Gerth),” he cracked.

And while Malm said it was a neat experience to play in front of his friends and family, the result was disappointing.

“I wish we could have done better for all the fans out there,” he said.

•••

The Giants are back in action on Sept. 27  when they host the Prince George Cougars.

Vancouver also hosts the Seattle Thunderbirds on Friday night (7:30 p.m.) and the Kamloops Blazers on Sunday afternoon (4 p.m.).

Seattle’s roster has Langley’s Jarrett Tyszka while the Blazers roster features Langley’s Brodi Stuart and Luke Zazula.

 

Just Posted

Achieving for Delta could implement big changes with council majority, school board votes

George Harvie gained strong support from North Delta voters on Oct. 20

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

White Rock Computer Club teaches the way of the future

From cat memes to security, the club has been teaching internet for the past 20 years

UPDATED: George Harvie wins race for Delta mayor

Harvie’s Achieving for Delta slate also took 4 of 6 seats on council and 3 of 7 seats on school board

White Rock mayor-elect to focus on water, communication, OCP

Mayor-elect Darryl Walker says he doesn’t drink White Rock’s tap water

Voting set to start in B.C. proportional representation referendum

Two-part ballots now being mailed to all registered voters

Harry and Meghan travel in different style on Australia tour

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on day seven of their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.

AP Exclusive: Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair, thesis for sale

The online auction features 22 items from Hawking, including his doctoral thesis on the origins of the universe, with the sale scheduled for 31 October and 8 November.

In Khashoggi case: Saudi calls, ‘body double’ after killing

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman called the son of Jamal Khashoggi, the kingdom announced early Monday, to express condolences for the death of the journalist killed at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul by officials that allegedly included a member of the royal’s entourage.

Alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur waives right to preliminary hearing

Bruce McArthur, a 67-year-old self-employed landscaper, has been ordered to stand trial on eight counts of first-degree murder.

N.B. village faces backlash after council raises ‘straight flag’

Chipman Mayor Carson Atkinson says the flag met the village council’s criteria because it “recognizes, accepts and respects the rights of individuals under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

5 to start your day

Surrey’s new mayor has big promises to keep, a crash claims a life of Fraser Valley man

B.C. oncologist changing the face of breast cancer treatment

Dr. Juanita Crook, a Kelowna oncologist, has seen 100 per cent success using brachytherapy to treat breast cancer in some patients.

Canada Post strikes leaves small shops in the lurch as holidays approach: CFIB

Rotating strikes began in Victoria, Edmonton, Halifax and Windsor

Most Read