The Vancouver Giants are looking ahead to next season, after four losses in as many starts last week has eliminated the Western Hockey League (WHL) team from the playoff race.
The Giants were swept 5-4 in a shootout and 2-1 in a two-game series Mar. 1-2, then lost 5-1 and 7-3 in a home-and-home series with the Victoria Royals on the weekend.
Now at 23-37-5-3 (win-loss-overtime loss-shootout loss), the Giants are 15 points out of a playoff position with four games remaining.
Their only point of the week came in their first game against the Cougars in Prince George last Tuesday night. Vancouver took a 4-3 lead into the third period on goals by Alec Baer, Ty Ronning, Ben Thomas and Taylor Crunk.
The Cougars tied the game with 16 minutes to play, then scored the only goal in the shootout, which saw six skaters from each team participate.
Ryan Kubic was in goal for the Giants, stopping 22 shots. Vancouver took 22 shots at the Prince George goal.
One night later, Radovan Bondra scored the only Giants goal of the game, a powerplay marker with 11 minutes remaining which pulled the visitors to within one of the Cougars.
Prince George outshot Vancouver 39-25, with Jake Morrisey in goal for the Giants.
Morrisey got the start again Friday at the Pacific Coliseum, and blocked 27 of 32 shots. Trevor Cox of surrey scored the only goal for the Giants, while North Delta native Dante Hannoun netted three for the Royals.
Playing in Victoria Saturday night, the Giants scored first on a goal from Owen Hardy just 80 seconds into the game. But Vancouver trailed 3-2 after one period and 4-3 after two. Victoria scored three unanswered goals in the third period.
Thomas Foster and Ronning scored the other two goals, with Cox assisting on both. His first helper of the game was the 300th point in Cox’ five-year WHL career.
The Giants will play twice next weekend, hosting the Portland Winterhawks at 7:30 p.m. Friday night in the Pacific Coliseum, then playing the Kamloops Blazers on the road Saturday.