The Vancouver Giants will host the Prince George Cougars tonight (Thursday, Nov. 10) at the Langley Events Centre, a game paying tribute to late team co-owner Pat Quinn, just days ahead of his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
“We’re honoured to recognize Pat ahead of his entry into the Hall of Fame,” said majority owner Ron Toigo.
“He was a big part of our organization, and we’ll have some people who played key parts in his playing and coaching career in attendance to pay tribute to him on Thursday.”
The Giants will wear special uniforms, too, while former Vancouver Canucks Trevor Linden, Kirk McLean, Cliff Ronning, Orland Kurtenbach, Ed Hatoum and Giants GM Glen Hanlon will take part in the ceremonial puck drop prior to the game.
They will also be guests on the Giants’ radio pre-game show on TSN 1410 in the banquet hall at the LEC.
Quinn, who passed away in November 2014, won an Olympic gold medal, a World Junior Championship, a World Under-18 Championship, and World Cup of Hockey while also winning a bronze medal at the World Championship. He is the only coach to win medals at five different levels of international play. Quinn also received the Order of Canada in 2012, was a two-time Memorial Cup winner, and a two-time recipient of the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s Coach of the Year.
He is being inducted into the hall of fame this weekend.
Meanwhile, the next game is again at LEC on Saturday, Nov. 12, when they face the Seattle Thunderbirds. Puck drops on both tonight’s and Saturday’s games at 7 p.m.
Reflections on Kelowna game
The Vancouver Giants lost a back-and-forth affair, falling 6-4 to the Kelowna Rockets at the Langley Events Centre last Friday night, then blew away the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Saturday night, 7-3.
When they went up against Kelowna on Friday, Alec Baer scored two goals for Vancouver while Darian Skeoch and Johnny Wesley also found the net.
Baer put Vancouver on the board early in the first period, scoring off the rush by tucking the puck into the net after Kelowna goaltender Michael Herringer missed on an attempted poke check. Calvin Thurkauf responded for Kelowna later in the period, picking up the rebound of a Nick Merkley shot and depositing the puck past Vancouver goalie Ryan Kubic. Merkley gave the Rockets the lead with a power play goal a few minutes later, but Skeoch scored his first of the season for the Giants on a one-timer from the right circle to tie the game at 2-2.
The Rockets scored two shorthanded goals in a three second span to take a 4-2 lead in the second period. Tomas Soustal beat Kubic on a nice power move to the front of the net before Braydyn Chizen scored on a slap shot from his own blue line that found its way past the Vancouver net minder. Baer tallied his second of the night with a hard wrist shot from the left circle to pull Vancouver back to within one goal before the intermission.
Wesley evened the score for Vancouver in the third period, scoring on a rebound after a battle for a loose puck in the Kelowna crease. Kole Lind bagged the eventual game winning goal for the Rockets at 16:50 of the final frame, finding the net on his own rebound. Merkley added an empty net goal.
The Kelowna Rockets out shot Vancouver 37-24 in the game last Friday night against the Giants.
The Giants went 0-for-5 on the power play. Kubic made 31 saves in the losing cause.
Looking back on the ‘Huricanne’ night
The Giants blew away the Hurricanes, pun intended.
The G-Men got two-goal efforts from Radovan Bondra and Ty Ronning en route to a 7-3 win over the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Saturday night at the Langley Events Centre.
Tyler Benson, Jack Flaman, and Thomas Foster also had goals for the Giants in the victory, while David Tendeck made 19 saves for the first win of his WHL career.
The teams traded goals in the first period with Giorgio Estephan drawing first blood for Lethbridge before Flaman equalized for Vancouver, scoring his eighth of the season on a rebound off the end wall.
Benson gave the Giants their first lead of the night at 6:32 of the second period, beating Hurricanes net minder Ryan Gilchrist on a power play.
Brayden Burke made it 2-2 with a goal on a Lethbridge man advantage, but the Giants rattled off four unanswered goals to take control of the game.
Bondra scored on a sharp-angle shot from the right wing before Ronning hammered home a rebound to put Vancouver ahead 4-2 after 40 minutes.
Ronning scored again on another rebound early in the third period, and Bondra was setup beautifully by James Malm on a Vancouver power play for his second goal of the evening.
Former Giant Brennan Menell cut into the lead with a PP goal of his own later in the period, but Foster responded quickly for Vancouver, deflecting a Darian Skeoch point shot past Gilchrist.
The Giants set a season-high for goals in a game and margin of victory. Vancouver went 2-for-3 on the power play and out shot the Hurricanes 32-22.
Benson playing well for Team WHL
Vancouver Giants captain Tyler Benson, an Edmonton Oilers draft pick, gave Edmonton fans a glimpse of his abilities with a goal and two assists to help Team WHL to a 4-1 victory over Russia at Rogers Place on Tuesday night.
The Edmonton native scored an empty net goal while assisting on goals by Kale Clague (Brandon Wheat Kings) and Austin Wagner (Regina Pats).
“It was exciting,” Benson said after the win.
“Every time I come back to Edmonton, I’m always pretty happy and pretty excited to play here. I’ve got family here, so I was pretty happy, and it was a good experience.”
Benson’s effort helped break open a game that was tied 1-1 after 40 minutes. The victory gave Team WHL a split of two games against Russia after an overtime loss in Prince George on Monday night.
The 18-year-old forward leads the Giants with 17 points in 14 games this season. He was drafted by the Oilers in the second round of the 2016 NHL Draft at 32nd overall.
Benson will be back in the Vancouver lineup when the club hosts the Prince George Cougars for White Spot Legends Night tonight at the Langley Events Centre.
Tickets are still on sale for tonight’s and Saturday’s games.
For tickets, people can call 604-444-2687.