LANGLEY ADVANCE COACH’S CORNER: Signs of life?

Each week, the Advance catches up with Vancouver Giants coach Jason McKee for his thoughts about the team.

Are the Vancouver Giants’ fortunes turning around?

Even with the Giants losing 3-2 to Victoria Wednesday, dropping their record to 1-5, there are some encouraging signs.

After stumbling out of the blocks with four losses to open their Western Hockey League campaign, the Giants notched their first win of the season Sunday afternoon, when they beat the visiting Kamloops Blazers 3-1 at the Langley Events Centre.

Giants head coach Jason McKee said a ‘W’ is only going to help.

“Getting a win any time is a good thing,” McKee said.  “Our compete level, our commitment to the outcome of the game was much higher [against Kamloops], and I think that’s where we need to be in order to have success in this league. We’re learning that we need everybody on board, everybody playing to the best of their capabilities and committing to the  game plan, to the hard areas of the rink. I thought we did a much better job of that and the kids were rewarded for it with a win.”

Now comes the great news that their captain, Tyler Benson, has returned from the Edmonton Oilers.

The G-Men hosted Victoria last night, past the Advance’s deadline, and it was uncertain whether or not Benson was going to be in the lineup.

Benson, who hails from Edmonton, was drafted by the Oilers in the second round of the 2016 NHL Draft at 32nd overall. The 18-year-old scored 28 points in 30 games during an injury shortened 2015/16 WHL season. The Giants selected the 6’, 190-pound winger at first overall in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft.

McKee said Benson brings experience and versatility to the G-Men.

“He’s a guy who plays in all situations for us,” McKee said. “He plays hard, plays the right way, and he’ll be a real good asset to obviously get back. We’re expecting Tyler to be a contributing member to our team. Just like any other player, he’s just got to take care of his part. We don’t want to pin everything on one guy, but it’s definitely nice to get a player of Tyler’s calibre back, that’s for sure.”

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