Young defenceman hailed ‘hero’ in pre-season games in Langley

G-Men hockey players wrap up the exhibition season with a record of 5 wins, one loss.

Vancouver Giants head coach Jason McKee is hoping the successes recorded during the Langley-based team’s exhibition play can continue into the regular season.

The G-Men kick off their regular season on Friday, Sept. 22, in Victoria against the Royals, that’s the same team they triumphed over on Saturday on home ice at Langley Event Centre.

The Giants played back-to-back games this weekend at home.

They defeated the Prince George Cougars 7-3 on Friday, then downed the Victoria Royals 3-2 on Saturday, wrapping up the weekend and pre-season play with a 5-4 victory over the Everett Silvertips on Sunday afternoon.

When the dust settled, the Giants wrapped up their pre-season with a 5-1 record overall.

Game by game

On Friday, 18-year-old forward James Malm paced the Giants attack with three goals and an assist while Kaleb Bulych and Bowen Byram each added a pair of assists, explained Dan O’Connor, director of media relations and the play-by-play broadcaster for the Giants.

Five of Vancouver’s seven goals came in the second period as the Giants built up a 7-0 lead. David Tendeck earned the win between the pipes going 12-for-12 before giving way to Trent Miner.

On Saturday, once again on home ice, Byram led the charge with a goal and an assist for the Giants, while Jack Flaman and Milos Roman also scored. Regan Nagy had two assists in response for the Royals.

Between the pipes, Giants goaltenders Todd Scott and Ryan Kubic combined for 27 saves.

Meanwhile, Jack Flaman opened the scoring for the Giants at 18:17 of the first period. With the Giants on a five-on-three power play, Flaman parked himself in front of Royals starter Dean McNabb and redirected home a left-wing feed from Byram. Flaman’s first of the season was also assisted by Alex Kannok Leipert.

Flaman’s marker would stand as the only goal of the first.

Fast-forward to Sunday, O’Connor spotlighted the efforts of a young defenceman, Kannok Leipert, calling him a hero for the Giants in “a dramatic” pre-season victory.

“Sunday night in Langley the Giants erased a 4-2 third period deficit and stunned the Everett Silvertips with a 5-4 victory,” he said.

Aidan Barfoot tied the game at 15:47 of the third, then Kannok Leipert struck with 7.3-seconds left on the clock to secure the Giants fourth straight victory in the pre-season and their fifth overall.

“The final dagger came with just seven seconds remaining in the third,” O’Connor elaborated. “Milos Roman dashed down the left wing, and then slid a perfect pass to defenceman Alex Kannok Leipert trailing the rush. From there, the rookie defenceman took one stride and wired a shot through traffic and home for his first of the pre-season. That dramatic goal would stand as the winner as the Giants captured their fourth straight victory and their fifth victory in six pre-season outings.”