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Giants Double up Chiefs 6-3 Thanks to Strong Third Period

February 20, 2024 - Western Hockey League (WHL)
Vancouver Giants News Release


Vancouver Giants defend against the Spokane Chiefs
Vancouver Giants defend against the Spokane Chiefs
(Vancouver Giants, Credit: Rob Wilton)

Langley, B.C. - A bit of a sleepy second period was overcome by a very strong third for the Vancouver Giants on Monday afternoon, as they defeated the Spokane Chiefs 6-3 at the Langley Events Centre, playing in their fourth game in six days.

Vancouver's win stretches their home winning streak to eight games, while also improving the club's record to 14-4-1 since New Year's Day. The Giants are now 27-25-3-0 overall, just three points back of Wenatchee for fifth place in the Western Conference. Spokane falls to 22-26-4-1.

The Giants were tied 2-2 after 40 minutes but pulled away in the third. In total, they got goals from six different players on Monday: Cameron Schmidt (19th), London Hoilett (6th), Connor Levis (18th), Logen Hammett (6th), Tyson Zimmer (19th), and Jaden Lipinski (16th).

Goaltender Brett Mirwald stopped 37 of 40 for his 24th win of the season. He is now 13-2-1 in his last 15 games.

The Giants' penalty kill on Monday was also superb, going 4-for-4. The PK is now 90.7 per cent in the last nine games (39-for-43).

Scoring for Spokane was Berkly Catton, Chase Bertholet and Carter Streek.

GAME SUMMARY

Schmidt opened the scoring before most fans were seated, using his speed in the neutral zone to blow past a Chiefs defender on the right wing and get a lane to the net, where he quickly shot it off the post and in just 29 seconds into the game.

Catton responded for the Giants a few minutes later after a give-and-go with Conner Roulette, which ended with Catton going bar down from the high slot to tie the game 1-1.

Spokane would take their first lead of the game late in the first, after Bertholet rushed the puck down the left wing shorthanded and was able to beat Mirwald upstairs on the backhand.

Vancouver got the equalizer quickly, tying the game 27 seconds later after some quick puck movement between Zimmer, Adam Titlbach and Hoilett. Hoilett finished the play off by tucking it five-hole after a nice spinorama in front of the net.

After 20 minutes the score was 2-2.

Neither side would score in the middle period, but the Chiefs got the bulk of the chances, firing 13 shots on goal. They also had two power plays, but couldn't convert on either one.

The deadlock was broken just 3:58 into third, following an offensive zone face-off win. Sam Honzek won the draw back to Marek Howell, who's point shot created a rebound that was deposited home by Levis, standing open to the right of goaltender Dawson Cowan.

A pretty passing play with just 2:45 left in the third extended Vancouver's lead to 4-2, as Ty Halaburda and Hammett connected for a tap-in.

The Giants would score two into the empty net, first Zimmer and then Lipinski. Zimmer's 19th of the season made it 5-2, before the Chiefs got one back nine seconds later, but the final empty-net goal from Lipinski, his 16th, was the icing on the cake, making it a 6-3 final score.

THEY SAID IT

"It was good to get back home. I thought we looked a little bit tired tonight. You could see it in our legs. We didn't have that normal jump that we've had before. We've been on the road quite a bit: we were in Victoria, back against Portland and then back to Portland, again the travel. Arriving at 4 o'clock in the morning sometimes wears on these kids. We were a little bit sluggish, but I thought we got our game back in the third period and got back to how we play as a team, the structure. [Mirwald] made some big saves at the right time and we scored at the right time. It could have went either way. Spokane played really well this afternoon too. Just happy we were able to come away with two points. It'll be a good day tomorrow for a day off for our kids." - Head Coach Manny Viveiros

"I thought we had a good first and then think we got away in the second there and it wasn't our best period, but we regrouped in the third and the guys got a couple goals late in the third and we locked it down...I think we're playing smart with the puck [in the third]. We're not taking chances at the lines. It's puck management, getting it deep, but still creating offence because we're scoring goals here in third periods, but we're not giving up a bunch of late turnovers on blue lines, which is huge. " - Goaltender Brett Mirwald

STATISTICS

SOG: VAN - 12/4/20 = 36 | SPO - 9/13/18 = 40

PP: VAN - 0/2 | SPO - 0/4

Face-Offs: VAN - 40 | SPO - 38

3 STARS

1st: VAN - Tyson Zimmer - 1G, 2A, 2 SOG, +3

2nd: SPO - Berkly Catton - 1G, 6 SOG

3rd: VAN - Brett Mirwald - 37 Saves on 40 Shots

GOALTENDING BATTLE

Vancouver: WIN - Brett Mirwald (37 saves / 40 shots)

Spokane: Loss - Dawson Cowan (30 saves / 34 shots)

NEXT GAME:

The Giants travel to Kelowna on Friday for a road contest with the Rockets at 7:05 p.m. On Saturday, they'll host Kamloops for RE/MAX presents: Nickelodeon Night, where Vancouver will sport unique SpongeBob SquarePants jerseys!





Images from this story

Vancouver Giants centre Tyson Zimmer
Vancouver Giants centre Tyson Zimmer

(Rob Wilton)
Vancouver Giants defenseman Logen Hammett (center) scores against the Spokane Chiefs
Vancouver Giants defenseman Logen Hammett (center) scores against the Spokane Chiefs

(Rob Wilton)
Vancouver Giants gather after a goal against the Spokane Chiefs
Vancouver Giants gather after a goal against the Spokane Chiefs

(Rob Wilton)
Vancouver Giants goaltender Brett Mirwald stops a shot against the Spokane Chiefs
Vancouver Giants goaltender Brett Mirwald stops a shot against the Spokane Chiefs

(Rob Wilton)
Vancouver Giants centre Cameron Schmidt
Vancouver Giants centre Cameron Schmidt

(Rob Wilton)
Vancouver Giants defend against the Spokane Chiefs
Vancouver Giants defend against the Spokane Chiefs

(Rob Wilton)

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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