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PREVIEW: Giants vs. Royals (Game #2)
Jon Howe

Tonight in Langley the Vancouver Giants and Victoria Royals take to the ice in the second game of a home-and-home series. Last night the Royals used the home crowd to their advantage as they defeated Vancouver 7-1 and tonight the G-Men will look to rally and walk out of their opening weekend against their B.C. Division foes.

 

VICTORIA ROYALS

 OVERVIEW:

Head Coach: Dan Price

Record: 1-0

Power Play: 3/8 (37.5%)

Penalty Kill: 6/6 (100%)

Leading Scorers: Matthew Phillips (1GP – 3G – 1A – 4PTS), Ryan Peckford (1GP – 2G – 1A – 3PTS), Jared Legien (1GP – 0G – 2A – 2PTS)

 

WHO’S UP FRONT:

Matthew Phillips: The Calgary prospect led the way for Victoria last night with three goals and an assist. He scored once at even strength, once on the power play and once shorthanded. After scoring 50 a season ago, he’ll be looking to flirt with that total again. He now has 10 goals and 13 assists for 23 points in his last 11 games against the Giants.

Ryan Peckford: The 18-year-old finished with two goals and an assist last night and provided some solid secondary scoring for Dan Price’s crew. After a 34-point campaign in 2016-17 he’s looking for an even bigger offensive role this season for Victoria.

WHO’S ON D:

Scott Walford: The Montreal Canadiens prospect wasn’t a factor on the scoresheet last night, but he didn’t have to be. He played a calm, responsible game and logged big minutes in all situations for his team. The Giants can expect a steady dose of Walford again tonight.

Jared Freadrich: The former Red Deer Rebel had two assists for Victoria in the opener and was especially dangerous on the power play. The 19-year-old was acquired to provide some further veteran leadership on the back-end and he did just that in yesterday’s victory.

WHO’S IN GOAL:

Griffen Outhouse: Even in a 7-1 victory, Griffen Outhouse made his mark. He finished Friday with 31 saves on 32 shots faced, and came up big for his team in each period. Odds are he’ll get another look at the Giants tonight.

X-FACTOR:

Experience: The Royals made a strong statement last night in their home opener by playing a responsible, opportunistic style of hockey. Experience certainly played a big part as veterans like Phillips, Outhouse, Nagy, Hannoun and Freadrich did a lot of the heavy lifting. The approach will need to be the same tonight for Victoria as they turn their attention to the road.

 

 

VANCOUVER GIANTS

 OVERVIEW:

Head Coach: Jason McKee

Record: 0-1

Power Play: 0/6

Penalty Kill: 5/8 (62.5%)

Leading Scorers: Ty Ronning (1GP – 1G – 0A – 1PT), Brad Morrison (1GP – 0G – 1A – 1PT)

WHO’S UP FRONT:

 Ty Ronning: The New York Rangers prospect supplied the lone goal for the Giants Friday, and was his usual pesky self offensively. The (almost) 20-year-old was credited with eight shots which led all skaters in the game. Tonight in front of the home crowd Ronning will once again look to lead the charge offensively.

Milos Roman: The talented Slovak finished even in the plus-minus category which isn’t bad considering that seven goals were scored against the Giants. Roman had some good looks offensively and displayed the strong work ethic that we’ve become accustomed to early on.

WHO’S ON D:

Kaleb Bulych: The rookie defenceman finished with a +1 rating for the Giants and used his size and speed to his advantage when needed. The Giants d-corps is still very young, but that means plenty of opportunities await the likes of Bulych.

Darian Skeoch: Tonight at home it’ll be key for Skeoch to set the tone physically. The 20-year-old has already become a fan favorite due to his leadership and physicality, and tonight it will be important for the defense to collectively rally together with a better effort. Skeoch is not the type of player who’s going to sit idly by and let other teams come to the LEC and push the Giants around.

WHO’S IN GOAL:

David Tendeck: Tonight in Langley David Tendeck will make his first start of the season for the G-Men. After backing up Ryan Kubic last season, Tendeck has shown that he’s ready for a bigger work load and will get that opportunity in droves this season. The draft eligible product of North Vancouver stopped four shots out of four that he faced late in the third period yesterday, and tonight the Giants will need him to do his part as they look to even their record to 1-1.

X-FACTOR:

A positive response: Did Friday go as planned? No. Are there lessons to be learned from some early season adversity? Absolutely. Tonight the Giants get a chance to turn the page, and a big crowd and some positive energy at the LEC should really help with that cause. Sometimes a quick turnaround and a short memory is exactly what the doctor ordered and tonight the Giants will look for a positive response and two big points when they clash again with Victoria.

 

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