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

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside North Delta elementary school

The officer was intervening in an alleged assault outside of Immaculate Conception School when he and the woman were stabbed

Vantage Way in Delta reopened after chemical spill

Incident involved a couple of barrels of “low-risk” chemicals that were spilled inside a business

Suspect charged after four Surrey banks were robbed in just four hours

Financial institutions in North Surrey targeted on Feb. 12

New West mayor says Surrey won’t be left out in transit 10-year plan

Jonathan Cote one of two speakers at luncheon focusing on transportation, land use planning

UPDATE: Missing Surrey snowshoer found dead on Mt. Seymour

North Shore Rescue resumed its search today after efforts were temporarily halted Tuesday due to snowstorm

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could save the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Man injured in police shooting near Nelson has died: B.C. police watchdog

The death follows an incident in Bonnington on Feb. 13

Experts urge caution after 10 human-triggered avalanches across B.C.

One man is still stuck after avalanche on south coast

Most Read