Brenden Semchuck and the Vancouver Giants fell 7-3 to Devon Skoleski and the Everett Silvertips in the WHL season opener at the Langley Events Centre on Friday night.

Giants fall in home opener

Sell-out crowd at Langley Events Centre sees Vancouver lose 7-3 to Everett

Gary Ahuja

Black Press

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 visiting Everett Silvertips raced out to a 4-0 lead in the first period on Friday night at the Langley Events Centre and never looked back, winning 7-3.

The game was played in front of a 4,875 in the first WHL game at the LEC after the Giants moved from Vancouver this past off-season.

But missing six regulars who are at NHL training camps — Everett was minus three players — Vancouver was overmatched in the first period, getting just one shot in goal in the first 10 minutes and trailing 3-0.

The Giants did cut the lead to 4-1 on a Dawson Holt goal but 37 seconds later, Everett’s Jake Christianson had restored the four-goal advantage.

Shots in the first period were 19-5 for Everett.

The second period saw Holt score his second to cut the lead but the Silvertips again answered back to take a 6-2 lead after 40 minutes.

The teams traded goals late in the third with the Giants’ Jack Flaman scoring on a late breakaway.

Devon Skoleski and Graham Millar led Everett with a pair of goals apiece while Sean Richards and Bryce Kindropp had the other goals.

Vancouver, which was already playing down one forward, also lost defenceman Matt Barberis late in the second period.

The two teams complete the home-and-home series on Saturday night at Everett’s Xfinity Arena.

More to follow.


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