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Giants Take Down Conference-Leading Winterhawks for 6th Straight Win

February 17, 2024 - Western Hockey League (WHL)
Vancouver Giants News Release


Vancouver Giants' Tyson Zimmer on game night
Vancouver Giants' Tyson Zimmer on game night
(Vancouver Giants, Credit: Rob Wilton)

Langley, B.C. - A strong buy-in from throughout the lineup and 37 saves from goaltender Brett Mirwald led the Vancouver Giants to a 3-1 win over the Portland Winterhawks on Friday night at the Langley Events Centre, making it six straight victories for the G-Men.

Vancouver's regulation win over the top team in the Western Conference also stretches their point streak to 10 games, during which they are 9-0-1. The Giants overall record is now 26-24-3-0 this season, while Portland falls to 36-13-2-1.

Also of note, the Giants are 13-3-1 since New Year's Day.

Providing the goals for the Giants on Friday was Tyson Zimmer (17th), Logen Hammett (5th) and Mazden Leslie (13th).

Goaltender Brett Mirwald stopped 37 of 38 for his 23rd win of the season. He is now 12-2-1 in his last 15 games.

Scoring for Portland was defenceman Josh Mori.

GAME SUMMARY

Vancouver opened the scoring on a power play midway through the first period, after Titlbach fired a shot from the left circle after entering off the rush, which created a rebound off goaltender Jan Spunar. Zimmer was able to knock the puck out of mid-air and into the net after the rebound landed on the edge of the crease, making it 1-0 for the Giants at the 13:11 mark.

That was the only goal of the first period.

The Giants made it 2-0 7:38 into the second after Hammett started a rush from his own end, eventually dishing the puck to his right to Levis, who returned it to Hammett for an easy tap-in.

After 40 minutes, the Giants led 2-0, while the shots on goal favoured Portland 27-19.

The Winterhawks got one back early in the third, after Mori's point shot found its way through some traffic just 2:16 in to make it 2-1.

Although Portland gained a bit of momentum, the Giants were able to get some back themselves and eventually went ahead by two goals for the second time in the game, thanks to another goal off the rush.

It was led by Ty Halaburda, who played pitch and catch with Leslie a couple times before Leslie - who was the trailer on a 3-on-1 - one-timed it low past Spunar.

Portland pushed, but then took a penalty when their own net was empty with just under two minutes left, pretty much ensuring there wouldn't be a comeback.

CLICK FOR THE FULL ONLINE RECAP WITH GOAL CLIPS AND THE POST-GAME INTERVIEW

THEY SAID IT

"These kids come to work every single day and they put the time in. I always say if you put the time in and work the proper way, you can't help but improve. Credit to the kids. We were missing two real key players to our lineup tonight and other guys stepped up and played really well for us. I like where we're going. I really do. I could get used to this." - Head Coach Manny Viveiros

"I don't think we've reached our ceiling as of yet. There's a lot of little fine details in our game that we can improve on, especially at this age. These kids are always learning and trying to get better every single day. As a group, as a team, that's something that each game, each week we can continue to improve, improve and if we're lucky enough to get into the playoffs, that's where you want to be at your best form and that's something that we're striving for." - Head Coach Manny Viveiros

"First and foremost, [Mirwald] played an amazing game. He made some incredible stops, which really helps with the confidence in our team here. But we defended really well. That's important. Portland's a pretty offensive team and when you're doing that really well, you're going to have some offensive chances as well...when you're focusing on the defence, you're shutting off their transition. We were going to have some pretty good opportunities to create some odd-man rushes. We were able to do that off [Hammett's] goal there and make it a 2-1 game there. That was super important for us to pull off the win." - Forward Connor Levis

STATISTICS

SOG: VAN - 12/7/6 = 25 | POR - 17/10/11 = 38

PP: VAN - 1/3 | POR - 0/2

Face-Offs: VAN - 31 | POR - 19

3 STARS

1st: VAN - Brett Mirwald - 37 Saves on 38 Shots

2nd: VAN - Logen Hammett - GWG, 1 SOG, +1

3rd: VAN - Connor Levis - 2A, 2 SOG, +1

GOALTENDING BATTLE

Vancouver: WIN - Brett Mirwald (37 saves / 38 shots)

Portland: Loss - Jan Spunar (22 saves / 25 shots)

NEXT GAME:

The Giants wrap the home-and-home on Saturday in Portland. Then on Family Day on Monday, the Giants host the Spokane Chiefs for Country Day at 2 PM!





Images from this story

Vancouver Giants' Tyson Zimmer on game night
Vancouver Giants' Tyson Zimmer on game night

(Rob Wilton)
  

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