Everett edged Vancouver 2-1 at the Langley Events Centre on Friday, and Silvertips goalie Carter Hart stood tall in between the pipes making 29 saves to earn the game’s first star.
After a scoreless first period, Tips forward Connor Dewar connected on the power play at 1:54 of the second period, but Vancouver’s Davis Koch tied the game up about nine minutes later. Everett quickly answered back less than two minutes later, and Martin Fasko-Rudas’ goal ended up being the difference.
Vancouver had a late power play after a delay of game call to Everett, but failed to convert on that or when they pulled their goalie in the final minute of the game.
Despite the loss, Giants head coach Jason McKee said he liked what he saw from his club.
“That’s a first place team in the conference and we were right there,” he said. “We were one shot away and our effort and execution was good. We’re obviously disappointed in the loss, but we did a lot of good things against that team. It could have easily gone either way.”
McKee said his team responded well offensively after a first period that lacked a bit of fire.
“I thought we got better as the game went on,” he said. “The first we played a little too much around the perimeter, and in the second and third we got some traffic and rebounds, but they defend extremely well.”
The Giants back end was playing without veterans Dylan Plouffe and Matt Barberis, but McKee said he was pleased with the defence as a whole.
“We held that team to less than 30 shots and we competed defensively,” he said. “I liked our game defensively, and I thought they handled things well.”
Vancouver forwards James Malm and Tyler Benson were buzzing all night long, each recording six shots and Malm was named the second star of the game.
Everett, first place in the Western Hockey League’s Western Conference, improve to 40 wins, 17 losses, two overtime losses and three shootout losses after the victory. Vancouver drops to 31 wins, 21 losses, five overtime losses and three overtime losses, and they sit in third place in the B.C. division.
The Giants next take on the Kamloops Blazers on Monday. Face-off is set for 7 p.m. at the LEC.