Vancouver Giants are one win away from achieving something never done before in the history of the Western Hockey League, a victory by an eighth seeded team over a first seed.
Saturday night, April 30, at the Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett, WA, the Giants secured a 3-0 road victory over the Everett Silvertips to take a 3-2 lead in their first-round best-of-seven playoff series.
Adam Hall, Fabian Lysell and Connor Horning supplied the offense and goaltender Jesper Vikman set a new single-game franchise record with a 50-save shutout.
Vikman’s 50-save shutout is a new single-game franchise record for the Vancouver Giants.
There has also been no recorded shutout of 50-or-more saves in the WHL playoffs beyond 2004.
The 6’3” netminder from Sweden was one of three goaltenders named to his home country’s 2022 IIHF World Junior team. In 2020 Vikman was selected by the Vegas Golden Knights in the fifth-round of the NHL Draft.
RECAP: Jesper Vikman's historic 50-save shutout moves the G-Men to within one win of history! 3-0 was the final tonight as the Giants take a 3-2 series lead over the Everett Silvertips.— x - Vancouver Giants (@WHLGiants) May 1, 2022
More 📎: https://t.co/792Mn68ohM
📸: Kristin Ostrowski pic.twitter.com/wRvkGsvDqI
At 10:42 of the first period Hall took the puck off a faceoff win, raced down the left-wing and snapped a shot under the left arm of Braden Holt for his series-leading sixth goal. The goal was unassisted.
Hall now sits second in WHL playoff goal scoring with six goals.
Lysell increased the Giants lead to 2-0 at 7:48 of the third period when he converted on a wrap-around on his backhand side. Zack Ostapchuk and Hall both earned assists on Lysell’s fourth goal of the series.
Both Hall and Lysell have recorded points in all five games of the series so far for the Vancouver Giants.
All hopes of an Everett comeback were quashed at 18:33 when Connor Horning fired his first goal of the series into an empty Everett goal. Horning’s goal came via the power play.
The Giants can now clinch a berth in Round 2 with a victory on home ice at the Langley Events Centre on Monday night. Puck drops at 7 p.m.
If they do, it would be the first time an eighth seeded playoff team has defeated a one seed in the history of the WHL
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