Before a home crowd of almost 4,700 fans, the Vancouver Giants won game three in their first-round playoff series against the Victoria Tuesday night, and now they’re gearing up for game four tonight.
The Langley-based junior hockey league team beat the Royals 5-1, putting the Giants ahead by a game in the series (2-1).
Tuesday’s win at Langley Events Centre was the first home-ice playoff victory for the Giants since March 2012, when they took a 7-3 decision over Spokane.
On Tuesday, Milos Roman paced the Giants with a goal and two assists, while Tyler Benson and Ty Ronning each added two.
“We played pretty well,” said coach Jason McKee.
“I think we were kind of able to play the same game we’ve played all series. We got some well rounded scoring. I think we had five different guys scored, so that’s always a key thing at this time of the year. And then David Tendeck, our goalie, coming back – and he was exceptional for us,” he elaborated.
McKee was glad to see Tendeck returned to the net after being away five games with an upper body injury, caused during a game against the Tri-Cities American team three weeks ago.
Tendeck stopped 35 of 36 shots in the crease, playing a key role Tuesday’s win.
The coach noted there’s almost a full roster of players going into tonight’s game.
Darian Skeoch has served game two of a three-game suspension for a checking-to-the-head penalty that he received early in the first playoff game. He’s eligible to return to the Giants lineup in game five, which takes place on Saturday in Victoria.
In the meantime, Brayden Watts is also out for tonight’s game with an upper body injury.
“We knew that injuries are going to be part of the playoffs. And you obviously hope that all of your players stay healthy and get a chance to compete. But when you play hard, things happen and you have to be able to adjust. Regardless of who’s in our lineup, we expect a full complete effort every night,” Mckee said.
After what he called a short practice on Wednesday, McKee said the team will “get back at it” before a hometown crowd again tonight (Thursday), looking for another victory in game four of seven.
Tonight at the Langley Events Centre, the Vancouver Giants and Victoria Royals meet for a crucial game four matchup.
There’s lots on the line for both sides.
A win for the Giants gives them a 3-1 stranglehold and moves them one win away from a berth in the second round.
A win for the Victoria Royals evens the series and gives them home ice advantage back with the series then becoming a best-of-three.
The next game is in Victoria on Saturday evening, followed by a home game in Langley on Monday afternoon, if necessary. And if the seventh and final game is required to determine the victor, the Royals and Giants will duke it out in Victoria on Tuesday evening.
Single game tickets are still available online.