PREVIEW: Giants vs. Pats (Game #12)
Tonight in Regina, the Vancouver Giants wrap up their season-long seven game, 13 day road trip through the Prairies when they clash with the 2018 Memorial Cup hosts, the Regina Pats. So far on the trip the Giants are 2-2-1-1 and a victory tonight would give the Giants a plus-500 record for the trip and a .500 record overall heading home.
Head Coach: John Paddock
Home Record: 6-2
Last Game: A 5-3 home victory last night over the Victoria Royals
Goals For/Goals Against: 43/42
Power Play: 27.6% (6th in WHL)
Penalty Kill: 69.8% (21st in WHL)
Leading Scorers: Matt Bradley (12GP – 11G – 11A – 22PTS), Emil Oksanen (11GP – 9G – 7A – 16PTS), Sam Steel (9GP – 4G – 10A – 14PTS)
WHO’S UP FRONT:
Matt Bradley: The leading scorer for the Pats posted two goals in last night’s victory over Victoria. He’s recorded at least one point in 11 of the 12 games he’s played this season.
Sam Steel: The first rounder of the Anaheim Ducks had two assists in last night’s game against Victoria and has posted 14 points in nine games. Last season Steel led the WHL in scoring with 50 goals and 131 total points. He’s a threat every single time he takes the ice.
WHO’S ON D:
Josh Mahura: The Anaheim Ducks prospect leads all Regina defencemen in scoring with three goals and eight assists for 11 points in eight games. Last season Mahura notched 17 goals.
Dawson Davidson: Last season Davidson split time with Kamloops and Regina and ended up with five goals and 20 assists. The 19-year-old plays a steady game and contributes big minutes at all ends of the ice for Regina.
WHO’S IN GOAL:
Tyler Brown: The 20-year-old has started the season 6-2-1-0 with a .904 save percentage and a 2.67 goals-against-average. In 129 career WHL games, Brown has posted a record of 67-36-8-6.
Emil Oksanen: The 19-year-old Fin leads all WHL rookies in scoring with nine goals and seven assists for 16 points in 11 games played.
Head Coach: Jason McKee
Road Record: 2-3-1-1
Last Game: A 6-5 loss in Brandon last night.
Goals For/Goals Against: 38/44
Power Play: 14.6% (18th in WHL)
Penalty Kill: 72.5% (19th in WHL)
Leading Scorers: Ty Ronning (11GP – 9G – 4A – 13PTS), James Malm (11GP – 2G – 10A – 12PTS), Brad Morrison (11GP – 2G – 9A – 11PTS)
WHO’S UP FRONT:
Ty Ronning: The New York Rangers prospect had quite a night last night. On his 20th birthday, Ronning notched his second career hat-trick while also adding an assist. He now leads the Giants in scoring outright with nine goals and 13 points.
Brad Morrison: The 20-year-old has notched two goals and nine assists for 11 points in 11 games so far this season. He’s thrived alongside Ty Ronning and Milos Roman and will look to keep his steady offensive production going tonight.
WHO’S ON D:
Dylan Plouffe: The 18-year-old struck twice on the power play last night for the Giants and now leads all Giants defencemen with three goals. It was Plouffe’s first ever multi-goal game in the WHL and on the defensive side of the puck he’s been dependable with a +1 rating.
Matt Barberis: The veteran had two assists last night and now has five assists for his season. His +3 rating is second among all Giants defencemen behind only rookie Bowen Byram.
WHO’S IN GOAL:
Todd Scott: The rookie out of Minnesota is coming off his first WHL victory Wednesday in Saskatoon and tonight he’ll look to make it back-to-back wins when he starts tonight. His record is 1-2-1-1 on the season with a 3.92 goals-against-average and an .876 save percentage.
Don’t Look Past Today: Psychologically speaking it would be very tempting and easy perhaps for the Giants to look at today’s game as a write-off. For Vancouver it’s their fourth game in five nights, with some travel involved. But if the Giants can dig their heels in and snag a victory tonight in accomplishes a number of things:
- It gets them back to .500
- It gives them a plus-.500 record for the trip
- It would make for a much more enjoyable bus ride home
Tonight Jason McKee’s crew needs to empty the tank and play with the precise energy and intensity level that they’ve shown on every game so far this trip, If they do that, there’s no reason why they can’t leave the Prairies with two more points in their pocket.