Earlier this weekend, the Langley-based Vancouver Giants fell to the Tri-City American 6-2. During the rematch Sunday, the score was closer, but still not good for the G-Men.
Sunday night, once again battling the Tri-City Americans on their home turf in Kennewick, Wash. the G-Men went down 4-3.
Vancouver dropped what their play-by-play broadcaster Dan O’Connor called a hard-fought decision to the Americans.
“Tri-City struck twice within a 23-second span late in the second period to break open a 2-2 tie, and despite a valiant push in the third the Giants were unable to equalize,” he said.
Ty Ronning – who was just signed to the New York Rangers – scored his 58th and 59th goals of the season for the Giants while Davis Koch added two assists, extending his assist-streak to six straight games.
Between the pipes David Tendeck made 36 saves on 40 shots faced for Vancouver, while his counterpart Patrick Dea turned aside 37 of the 40 shots fired his way for Tri-City.
At 14:27 into the first period, Tri-City got on the board when Jake Bean’s shot from the right point switched directions off a crowd in front and made its way through Tendeck and in for his 10th of the season.
Less than two minutes later Vancouver answered when Ty Ronning took a James Malm pass in the slot and ripped a shot up high and over the right shoulder of Dea to even the score 1-1.
51 seconds later though Tri-City stormed back when Morgan Geekie raced the puck across the Giants blueline, cut to the middle and snapped his 28th past Tendeck to give the Americans a 2-1 cushion.
That lead lasted into the first intermission. Shots were 14-9 Tri-City after one.
“Then, 36 seconds into the second period, Ronning tied the score for Vancouver when he knocked home a bouncing puck past Dea from in close along the right-wing,” O’Connor said.
Ronning’s goal came via the power play which finished the night one-for-four for Vancouver. His goal was assisted by both Tyler Benson and Koch.
“Both goaltenders made timely stops for their respective teams through the first 17 minutes of the second,” O’Connor elaborated.
Tendeck made multiple difficult saves off Dylan Coghlan and a breakaway stop off Sasha Mutala. At the other Dea made point-blank saves off Malm, Milos Roman, and Alex Kannok Leipert to keep the game tied.
That changed at 17:41 when Americans’ captain Michael Rasmussen parked himself in the slot and deflected an Anthony Bishop point-shot through traffic and past Tendeck for his 28th and a 3-2 lead.
Again, 23 seconds later, Riley Sawchuk hammered home his 14th of the campaign off a Parker AuCoin rebound, which moved Tri-City into a 4-2 advantage that they took into the second intermission. Shots were 30-24 Tri-City.
“Patrick Dea’s best period in goal for the Ams was the third as he faced 16 shots from the Vancouver Giants, many of which were quality looks,” O’Connor recounted.
Only one of those 16 chances went past him when Malm one-timed a Koch feed past the stretched left pad of Dea and in with a minute and 44 seconds to play in the period.
“A late push from the Giants proved unsuccessful and the Tri-City Americans held on to earn their 35th win of the season – A 4-3 triumph over the Giants,” he said.
Shots were even at 40-40 and Tri-City went zero-for-four on their power play chances. The loss drops the Giants record to 35-25-6-3, five points back of Victoria for second in the B.C. division standings.
Next up for the Giants have one final road test against the Kamloops Blazers on Wednesday, March 14, before returning home.