In this regular feature, the Langley Advance speaks to head coach Jason McKee, who brings us a game replay and a look ahead.
It’s a young team, but it’s a good group of talented guys who – with a little more practice and teamwork – can do some great things.
That’s the take away for head coach Jason McKee, who said the scoreboards this weekend don’t tell the real story about how the Vancouver Giants really did during the first two games of the season. They fell in back-to-back games against the Royals, 7-1 on Friday in Victoria, and 6-1 on home ice at Langley Events Centre on Saturday.
“Friday, I didn’t think we played overly well. I thought we looked a little overwhelmed at times, just because of the pace of the game and the speed,” McKee said, noting his young players were up against some experienced, more seasoned players.
That said, on Saturday, he felt the team rebounded well during the first half of the game. “Unfortunately, we made a number of poor decisions when it came to puck management, and they made us pay for it,” he said.
“I like the way we played much better Saturday than the Friday, and if we eliminate a couple of poor decisions, I think we’re going to be just fine.”
The team “played really well” (5-1) during the pre-season games, and McKee is convinced that if the team can maintain confidence and push harder to get traffic in front of the opponent’s net, the rest will fall together.
“You know to generate almost 90 shots in two games, you know you gotta be doing something right,” he said. “We broke the puck out as good as we have in my time here, and we just have to keep building on that.”
This week in practice, they’ve been focused on reducing turnovers, getting that puck in front of the net, and making sure the shots made – if not into the net – are at least hitting the net and providing some hope for rebounds. “Too many times, we missed high and wide, and didn’t give ourselves that second opportunity at it.”
The G-Men host the Kamloops Blazers this Friday at the Langley Events Centre. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m.
• Star #1
#40 – Milos Roman
The 5 ft. 11 in., 187-pounder from Slovakia is the only European import on the team this year, and may be working hard to prove himself. Either way, head coach Jason McKee was impressed with the 17-year-old’s efforts this past weekend. “He was good both games [during the season openers], you know tremendous work ethic, responsible, always creating opportunities, and he was – in my opinion – our most consistent player from both games,” McKee said.
• Star #2
#7 – Ty Ronning
Weeks away from his 18th birthday, this Burnaby right-winger, on a 2-on-1 rush with Brad Morrison, scored the only Giants goal Friday night on a spread-eagle goalie.
• Star #3
#14 – James Malm
Malm delivered for his hometown fans Saturday, when the 18-year-old leftie scored the only Giants goal on the Victoria Royals during the second period of play.