Vancouver Giants defenceman Kaleb Bulych rushed into the Edmonton Oil Kings zone as defenceman Brayden Gorda put a stick out to slow him down Friday at the Langley Events Centre. Troy Landreville Black Press

VIDEO: Injury-riddled Vancouver Giants find a way to edge Edmonton Oil Kings

Giants win 2-1 at home despite missing four key defencemen from lineup

It was more of a finger painting than a Picasso oil painting, but a depleted Vancouver Giants squad will take the ‘W.’

Missing four key defenceman (Dylan Plouffe, Darian Skeoch, Matt Barberis, and Alex Kannok Leipert), hard-working left winger Owen Hardy and highly skilled import forward Milos Roman from their lineup, the Giants eked out a 2-1 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings in front of 3,484 fans Friday night at the Langley Events Centre.

“At this time of year, there’s no grades, it’s finding ways,” Giants head coach Jason McKee said. “Guys are tired and we’ve got two more (games) to go (this weekend). It’s just finding ways to grind things out and that’s how we evaluate. If we get two points at the end of the night, we’ll take it with the situation we’re in.”

The G-Men knew going in they would be in for a dogfight.

Even though the Oil Kings came into the LEC with just 17 wins in 56 games and were tied with the Calgary Hitmen for the fewest points in the entire Western Hockey League, they were riding a three-game win streak, and had upset B.C. Division-powerhouse Victoria Royals 7-6 in a shootout Wednesday in Victoria.

“They’re better than their record,” McKee said, regarding the Oil Kings. “They’re healthy now, more than they’ve been and they’ve obviously been on a pretty good role lately and have beaten some pretty good teams. We knew we would have our hands full. There’s no easy nights and they (the Oil Kings) are a better team than when they started the year and they showed that tonight. They pushed us right to the end.”

And a fight it was, with the visitors outshooting the G-Men 14-2 in the third period and 31-23 overall.

Giants goaltender David Tendeck was a big reason why the Giants came away with their 31st victory of the campaign.

McKee praised his 18-year-old puckstopper.

“He’s definitely been a difference-maker all year,” McKee said. “That’s the evolution of a starting goalie. I think he earned his spot last year and this year he’s become a starter and that’s what you need.”

The Giants looked the part of the favourite early on.

It took the home team all of 14 seconds to open the scoring, with captain Tyler Benson sweeping his 20th of the season past Edmonton goalie Josh Dechaine.

Benson was in on the Giants’ second goal, scored fewer than two minutes later, when Brayden Watts cashed in on a Vancouver power play and it looked like the Giants were on their way.

But the Oil Kings wouldn’t go away, and Edmonton’s Brett Kemp struck 1:05 into the second period on a power play, knocking in a rebound off a Connor McDonald shot that handcuffed Tendeck.

The second period was a slugfest with the Oil Kings dishing out the brunt of the hitting.

The middle frame also included a spirited tilt involving the Giants’ Hunor Torzsok and Oil Kings’ Davis Murray.

The two dropped their gloves and squared off at centre ice like a couple of gunslingers. Torzsok tried a ‘Superman punch’ that missed its mark before the two combatants grabbed each other’s jerseys and went Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots on each other before they fell to the ice.

A classy start to the game, as Giants alum Evander Kane congratulated Giants winger Ty Ronning on breaking his franchise record for goals in a season (48). Kane, a fixture on the Buffalo Sabres top six forward group, was shown on the overhead centre-ice jumbotron applauding Ronning on his accomplishment.

Ronning, who is up to 51 goals and had 15 tallies in his past 12 games before Friday, was held off the scoresheet on this night.

This is the start of a brutal weekend, scheduling-wise, for the Giants who are still a long way away from getting completely healthy.

They ferry over to Victoria to play the Royals tomorrow night (Feb. 18) and return to the LEC Sunday afternoon for a 4 p.m. contest against the visiting Red Deer Rebels.

 

Edmonton Oil Kings defenceman Wyatt McLeod kept Vancouver Giants centre James Malm within arm’s reach as the two WHL squads squared off at the Langley Events Centre. Troy Landreville Black Press

Vancouver Giants goaltender David Tendeck focused on the puck as an Edmonton Oil Kings forward attempted to screen him during Friday’s WHL match-up at the Langley Events Centre. Troy Landreville Black Press

Vancouver Giants captain Tyler Benson and Edmonton Oil Kings defenceman Matthew Robertson followed the play in the Oil Kings’ end of the ice in the opening period of Friday’s Western Hockey League contest at the Langley Events Centre. Troy Landreville Black Press

Just Posted

Langley legion forced to close after 91 years

The branch could not bring in enough money to cover operations.

Fraser River water levels creeping towards near-record highs

Mission gauge currently reading just under 6 metres but forecasted to rise

Langley Xtreme win gold at tourney

The young girls defeated Richmond to win the softball event.

Student artists featured at West Fine Art Show at Cloverdale Country Fair

Exhibition at Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair displays work of Lord Tweedsmuir students

VIDEO: Grand Forks shores up defences as floodwaters rise to peak levels

Canadian Forces, volunteers working to protect low-lying areas

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

Police investigate sexual assault in Fraser Valley

Man grabs woman by shoulders and makes sexual comments

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

HISTORY: The Rodeo Queens of Cloverdale

For decades, Rodeo Queens served as ambassadors of the big show

Wellington Dukes pull off epic upset of Wenatchee at RBC Cup

The Dukes are off to the championship game after downing the Wild 2-1 Saturday at Prospera Centre.

Giant Molson beer tanks to begin journey to Fraser Valley brewery site

Massive Molson tanks arriving at Chilliwack site overnight May 30

Canada to face U.S. for bronze at world hockey championship

Canada was looking to play in the gold medal game for a fourth straight year, but saw 3-2 loss

Searchers for Vancouver Island father turn focus to Cowichan River

Cowichan SAR joined by many other SAR groups, volunteers now determined to find missing man

Most Read