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

Woman found dead in Okanagan Lake identified as Surrey resident

Police ‘do not believe criminality was involved’ in the death of 29-year-old Caitlin Bradley

COLUMN: Delta residents and businesses can help make a difference

Delta police chief Neil Dubord writes about the power of crowd-sourcing

North Delta crime beat, week of April 7

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

Students run blood, stem cell donor drive at Surrey’s Vaisakhi Parade

Volunteer youth group One Blood for Life aims to create a more ethnically diverse stem cell registry

Homeless activists outside Notre Dame demand ‘a roof too’

Wealthy people have donated millions to effort to rebuild cathedral after devastating fire

PHOTOS: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says ‘I do’ on Earth Day

May and John Kidder got married Monday morning in Victoria

Victims injured in Lower Mainland deck collapse ranged from 15 to 83 years old

Victim Services staff have reached out to those hurt and their families

‘Ghost restaurants’ cooked up by Joseph Richard Group to meet demand of delivered food

The new Meal Ticket Brands venture aims to ‘disrupt’ the local restaurant industry

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

Torched SUV linked to Vancouver’s fourth homicide

Manoj Kumar, 30, was found dead from gunshot wounds in the Kitsilano neighbourhood

Multiple sailing waits as BC Ferries deals with Easter Monday traffic

89 extra sailings had been added to the long weekend schedule

Ex-mayor of northern village claims its drivers are overpaying ICBC $1,800 a year

Darcy Repen says data shows Telkwa households are being ripped off for car insurance

Deadly synthetic drug found in Kamloops that puts users in ‘zombielike’ state

Interior Health warning says substance causes ‘speedy, trippy-like symptoms’ and hallucinations

Most Read