Vancouver Giants defenceman Kaleb Bulych rushed into the Edmonton Oil Kings zone as defenceman Brayden Gorda put a stick out to slow him down Friday at the Langley Events Centre. Troy Landreville Black Press

Injury-riddled Vancouver Giants find a way to edge Edmonton Oil Kings

Giants win 2-1 at home despite missing four key defencemen from lineup

It was more of a finger painting than a Picasso oil painting, but a depleted Vancouver Giants squad will take the ‘W.’

Missing four key defenceman (Dylan Plouffe, Darian Skeoch, Matt Barberis, and Alex Kannok Leipert), hard-working left winger Owen Hardy and highly skilled import forward Milos Roman from their lineup, the Giants eked out a 2-1 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings in front of 3,484 fans Friday night at the Langley Events Centre.

“At this time of year, there’s no grades, it’s finding ways,” Giants head coach Jason McKee said. “Guys are tired and we’ve got two more (games) to go (this weekend). It’s just finding ways to grind things out and that’s how we evaluate. If we get two points at the end of the night, we’ll take it with the situation we’re in.”

The G-Men knew going in that they would be in for a dogfight.

Even though the Oil Kings came into the LEC with just 17 wins in 56 games and were tied with the Calgary Hitmen for the fewest points in the entire Western Hockey League, they were riding a three-game win streak, and had upset B.C. Division-powerhouse Victoria Royals 7-6 in a shootout Wednesday in Victoria.

“They’re better than their record,” Giants head coach Jason McKee said, regarding the Oil Kings. “They’re healthy now, more than they’ve been and they’ve obviously been on a pretty good role lately and have beaten some pretty good teams. We knew we would have our hands full. There’s no easy nights and they (the Oil Kings) are a better team than when they started the year and they should that tonight. They pushed us right to the end.”

And a fight it was, with the visitors outshooting the G-Men 14-2 in the third period and 31-23 overall.

Giants goaltender David Tendeck was a big reason why the Giants came away with their 31st victory of the campaign.

McKee praised his 18-year-old puckstopper.

“He’s definitely been a difference-maker all year,” McKee said. “That’s the evolution of a starting goalie. I think he earned his spot last year and this year he’s become a starter and that’s what you need.”

Looking for their 31st win of the campaign, the Giants looked the part of the favourite early on.

It took the home team all of 14 seconds to open the scoring, with captain Tyler Benson sweeping his 20th of the season past a surprised Josh Dechaine.

Benson was in on the Giants’ second goal, scored fewer than two minutes later, when Brayden Watts cashed in on a Vancouver power play and it looked like the Giants were on their way.

The Oil Kings’ Brett Kemp struck 1:05 into the first period on an Oil Kings’ power play, knocking in a rebound off a Connor McDonald shot that handcuffed Tendeck.

The second period was a slugfest with the Oil King dishing out the brunt of the hitting. The middle frame also included a spirited tilt involving the Giants’ Hunor Torzsok and Oil Kings’ Davis Murray.

The two dropped their gloves and squared off at centre ice like a couple of gunslingers. Torzsok tried a ‘Superman punch’ that missed its mark before the two combatants grabbed each other’s jerseys and went Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots on each other before they fell to the ice.

A classy start to the game, as Giants alum Evander Kane congratulated Giants winger Ty Ronning on breaking his franchise record for goals in a season (48). Kane, a fixture on the Buffalo Sabres top six forward group, was shown on the overhead centre-ice jumbotron applauding Ronning on his accomplishment.

Ronning, who is up to 51 goals and had 15 tallies in his past 12 games before Friday, was held off the scoresheet on this night.

This is the start of a brutal weekend, scheduling-wise, for the Giants who are still a long way away from getting completely healthy.

They ferry over to Victoria to play the Royals tomorrow night (Feb. 18) and return to the LEC Sunday afternoon for a 4 p.m. contest against the visiting Red Deer Rebels.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Vancouver Giants goaltender David Tendeck focused on the puck as an Edmonton Oil Kings forward attempted to screen him during Friday’s WHL match-up at the Langley Events Centre. Troy Landreville Black Press

Edmonton Oil Kings defenceman Wyatt McLeod kept Vancouver Giants centre James Malm within arm’s reach as the two WHL squads squared off at the Langley Events Centre. Troy Landreville Black Press

Vancouver Giants captain Tyler Benson and Edmonton Oil Kings defenceman Matthew Robertson followed the play in the Oil Kings’ end of the ice in the opening period of Friday’s Western Hockey League contest at the Langley Events Centre. Troy Landreville Black Press

Just Posted

A past extreme weather response shelter set up for women inside Surrey’s Nightshift Street Ministries. (Photo: Chris Paul/nightshiftministries.org)
Homeless people in Surrey face ‘shocking and scary’ scenario this winter

Last winter there were nine Extreme Weather Response shelters in all of Surrey and White Rock. So far, during this pandemic, there are only five lined up for the coming winter

File photo
Surrey Mounties seeking dash-cam footage of Whalley road rage fight

Two men are alleged to have stabbed one another

The RCMP helicopter. (File photo)
Suspect escapes after police pursuit through Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford

Police chase involved two stolen vehicles, including one taken in Mission

Highway 99 traffic flows under 24 Avenue in South Surrey Monday afternoon. (Aaron Hinks photo)
A cyclist crosses above Highway 99 on 24 Avenue Monday afternoon, Oct. 19. (Aaron Hinks photo)
Liberals promise new freeway interchanges for South Surrey

NDP candidate taking pre-election announcement ‘with heavy grain of salt’

IIO Chief Civilian Director Ron MacDonald. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Police watchdog concludes Mounties didn’t shoot Fleetwood teen at strip mall

IIO finds tragic death of teenager ‘not the result of any actions or inactions’ by the Surrey RCMP

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry answers questions during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. sees record-breaking daily COVID infections with 499 new cases over weekend

Two people, both in the Lower Mainland, died due to the virus over the weekend

With local MLA Adam Olsen looking on, BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau said a Green government would convert BC Ferries into a Crown corporation Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Green leader Sonia Furstenau promises to convert BC Ferries back into Crown corporation

Promise comes Monday afternoon with five days left in campaign

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A B.C. man decided to create a website to help people find family doctors accepting patients. Because Victoria is considered high-demand, clinic openings can’t be posted publicly. (Unsplash)
Vancouver Island man starts website that connects B.C. residents with doctors

Nanaimo man started project to help people find family physicians accepting patients

Voting station at Tzeachten Hall in the riding of Chilliwack-Kent on the first day of advance voting in the provincial election on Oct. 15, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. VOTES 2020: 380,000 British Columbians head to polls in first 4 days of advance voting

Some of highest voter turnout so far has been seen on Vancouver Island and in Shuswap

Grant and Barbara Howse, in quarantine in Invermere. Mike Turner photo
Denied entry into U.S., Kootenay couple still forced to quarantine for 2 weeks

The rules around crossing the U.S. border led to a bizarre situation for an Invermere couple

Most Read