Vancouver Giants’ Jared Dmytriw cuts across the crease to beat Prince George’s Tavin Grant for one of his two goals in the Giants 4-3 overtime win at the Langley Events Centre on Jan. 1. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Giants begin new year with OT win

Fans at the Langley Events Centre were treated to a second straight overtime game, but this time, the home team emerged victorious

It was more than just a regular season victory for the Vancouver Giants as they kicked off the new year.

James Malm’s overtime winner gave the Giants a 4-3 win and the victory was the team’s 20th of the season, matching their entire win output from 2016/17.

The Giants were hosting the Prince George Cougars on Monday at the Langley Events Centre as the Western Hockey League kicked off the 2018 portion of the season.

Vancouver improved to 20-14-3-2 while Prince George fell to 14-18-3-3. It also pulls the Giants to within one point of Victoria for second place in the B.C. Division.

GALLERY

The Giants and Prince George also played at the LEC two nights earlier, in a wild affair which saw Vancouver recover from a 4-0 deficit less than seven minutes in, only to lose 7-6 in overtime. The Cougars had tied the game with 0.3 seconds remaining.

And Monday’s contest had a similar start as Prince George’s Dennis Cholowksi and Kody McDonald scored 14 seconds apart. That spelled the end of the night for the Giants’ David Tendeck after just 6:33 of action.

Head coach Jason McKee said they have tried to stress better starts for their team. But while they may be lacking in that department, the young Giants squad has shown the propensity in battling back from early deficits.

“I think this team believes they can come back and that is the biggest thing, having the confidence to do so,” he said.

With Owen Hardy providing a screen on the power play, Brayden Watts wired a shot over the shoulder of Prince George’s Tavin Grant to get the Giants on the board.

Five minutes later, Jared Dmytriw cut across the crease, tucking the puck in past Grant to tie things up at two prior to intermission.

Dmytriw had the only goal of the second period, taking a drop pass from Watts to make it 3-2.

It was a period the Giants dominated as it took Prince George 14 minutes just to get a shot on goal.

But with just over seven minutes to play, Cholowksi scored his second of the night, getting position on his defender and slipping the puck past Todd Scott to tie things up.

Only two shots were on target during the three-on-three overtime and both were from Malm.

Taking a pass from Dmytriw — who finished with a career-high four points — Malm put a move on his defender and wired home the winner.

“I realized that was a forward I was coming down on so I thought I could make a skill move,” Malm explained. “(And) I just buried my head and shot the puck.”

Malm has goals in back-to-back games after going seven straight without scoring.

He was also on a new line for Monday’s game, centring Brad Morrison and Dawson Holt.

The bulk of the Giants damage was done by their new-look second line of Owen Hardy with Watts and Dmytriw as his wingers.

The trio finished with three goals and five assists and a combined +7.

Dmytriw — the game’s first star — was happy to have contributed offensively. He entered the game with eight goals and 13 points in 37 games with Red Deer and Vancouver.

“But the biggest thing was our team got the two points tonight,” he said. “They were a big two points within our division.”

As for his line’s success, the winger said there was no real secret.

“We are a bunch of hard working guys and I think tonight we really clicked. We were playing fast and winning our battles,” he said.

Hardy has primarily played wing but was moved to the middle to give the team some size and to make up for the absence of Milos Roman, who is with Slovakia at the IIHF world junior hockey championships.

“I thought they (Hardy line) were exceptional,” McKee said of his trio, whom he had matched up against the Cougars’ top line of Jared Bethune, Nic Holowko and Kody McDonald. “They did a good job but created offence as well.”

The Prince George top line finished with a goal and two assists and were a combined +1.

Tyler Popowich centred the Giants’ top line with Ty Ronning and Tyler Benson as his wingers. The trio had a good finish to Saturday’s overtime loss, but did not find the scoresheet in Monday’s win.

Once Roman returns, McKee said it will give the team even more options, especially if Hardy can keep up his solid play in the middle. Roman had been relied upon both for his offensive prowess and defensive awareness.

“If that can do what they did tonight, it frees up Milos to play against another line,” he said. “Really what it does is give me two options (defensively) and that is what you really like as a coach.”

The Giants now embark on a six-game road trip beginning in Edmonton on Jan. 3.

Notes

Cholowksi — the Cougars captain and Langley native — scored two goals against Vancouver for the second straight game. Since being cut from Canada’s world junior team roster, the defenceman has six goals and four points in seven games.



sports@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Vancouver Giants vs Prince George, WHL action at Langley Events Centre Jan. 1 Vancouver’s Matt Barberis Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Vancouver Giants’ Bowen Byram boxes out Prince George’s Liam Ryan. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Vancouver’s Owen Hardy and Prince George’s Ryan Schoettler. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

James Malm fires a puck on goal. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Prince George’s Dennis Cholowski scores on the wraparound, one of two goals he scored in his team’s 4-3 overtime loss. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Just Posted

VIDEO: Cloverdale’s cancer fundraising country concert hit the mark

Organizers believe the $600,000 goal was reached at the annual Gone Country - Here for the Cure.

2018 Aldergrove Fair photo gallery

Good times from pony rides and petting zoo to free MainStage concerts

Letter: Save the little forested area in Murrayville

A Langley letter writer is concerned development will mean the loss of greenspace.

54-40 thrills Aldergrove Fair crowd: VIDEO

54-40 were joined on stage by the band members’ dancing children, the “Aldergrove Rockettes”

Man arrested in Maple Ridge in connection with Victoria-area murder

Daniel Creagh faces second-degree murder charge in death of Joseph Gauthier

BC Wildfire merges two Okanagan wildfires

Large plume of smoke seen over the fire was a controlled event

Why do they do it? Coaches guide kids to wins, personal bests at the BC Games

Behind the 2,300 B.C. athletes are the 450 coaches who dedicate time to help train, compete

Gold medallists at BC Games only trained together for 1 day

Ryan Goudron, Nathan Chan, Owen Pinto and Praise Aniamaka from Zone 4 - Fraser River ran together for the first time

Five taken to hospital after one of two Coquihalla accidents

One airlifted in critical condition, four taken via ambulance in stable condition

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Lower Mainland teams battle for baseball gold at BC Games

Vancouver Coastal squeaked out a 3-2 win against Fraser Valley

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Francesco Molinari wins British Open at Carnoustie

It is his first win at a major and the first by an Italian

Trio overcomes adversity at the BC Games

Zone 4 girl’s 3x3 basketball team fought through injuries and conflicting schedules

Most Read