PREVIEW: Vancouver Giants at Everett Silvertips (Game #55)
Tonight in Everett, WA the Vancouver Giants return to action for their third game in a span of four nights. An evening removed from an emotional 2-1 home victory in overtime against Seattle, the Giants will now head south into hostile territory where they’ll clash with the Western Conference leading Everett Silvertips at 7:00 PM.
February 10 vs EVT (Game Notes)
Head Coach: Dennis Williams
Home Record: 20-7-2-0
Last Game: A 2-1 overtime loss at home last night against Spokane
Last 10: 7-1-1-1
Goals For/Goals Against: 190/136 (+54)
Power Play: 22.7% (11th in WHL)
Penalty Kill: 84.5% (1st in WHL)
Leading Scorers: Patrick Bajkov (55GP – 27G – 54A – 81PTS), Matt Fonteyne (55GP – 30G – 38A – 68PTS), Garrett Pilon (52GP – 26G – 36A – 62PTS)
WHO’S UP FRONT:
Patrick Bajkov: The 20-year-old leads the Silvertips outright in scoring with 27 goals and 81 points. Over the course of his past five games, Bajkov has registered three goals and five assists for eight points. In three games against Vancouver, Bajkov has a goal and five assists for six points.
Connor Dewar: The 18-year-old has compiled 28 goals and 23 helpers for 51 points in 51 games for Everett. In two games against Vancouver he’s registered two goals and three assists for five points. He’s one of five Silvertips clicking at a point-per-game or better.
WHO’S ON D:
Kevin Davis: The 20-year-old has posted seven goals and 45 assists for 52 points through 54 games to lead all Silvertips defenders in scoring. He’s in a three-way tie with Dennis Cholowski (Portland) and Ty Smith (Spokane) for fifth in league scoring amongst defencemen.
Jake Christensen: In three games against Vancouver, Christensen has a goal and thre assists for four points. He’s played in all 55 games for Everett in 2017-18 and is already seven points past his previous season-high for points which he set last season.
WHO’S IN GOAL:
Carter Hart: The World Junior gold medalist comes into tonight with a record of 21-4-1-2. His save percentage is an astonishing .951 (tops in the league) and his goals-against-average is also a league-best 1.58. For good measure he leads the WHL with six shutouts. He’s one shutout shy of matching Giants alumnus Tyson Sexsmith for the most all-time (26).
Riley Sutter: 18-year-old Riley Sutter is eligible for the 2018 NHL Draft. He has 21 goals and 20 assists for 41 points. Five of those goals and seven of those points have come in three games against the Giants. In the midterm NHL Draft Rankings he came in at #72 among all North American draft eligible skaters.
Head Coach: Jason McKee
Road Record: 12-8-3-2
Last Game: A 2-1 overtime victory last night at home against Seattle
Last 10: 5-3-1-1
Goals For/Goals Against: 186/187 (-1)
Power Play: 21.2% (14th in WHL)
Penalty Kill: 79.4% (6th in WHL)
Leading Scorers: Ty Ronning (53GP – 49G – 19A – 68PTS), Tyler Benson (41GP – 19G – 32A – 51PTS), James Malm (54GP – 17G – 34A – 51PTS)
WHO’S UP FRONT:
Ty Ronning: The 20-year-old re-wrote the history books for the Giants last night when he scored his 48th and 49th goals of the season. With 49 goals and counting Ronning now holds the franchise single-season record for goals in a season. Could tonight be the night for goal number 50?
Davis Koch: Don’t look now, but Davis Koch is starting to heat up. He’s secured points in five of his last six games, and looked very strong alongside Ty Ronning and Brayden Watts last night as that trio was reunited. Koch has 20 goals and 25 assists for 45 points and now has six points in 10 games since joining the Giants.
WHO’S ON D:
Brennan Riddle: The 20-year-old played a TON last night for Vancouver and was one of just two non-rookie defencemen in the lineup. Tonight won’t get any easier for the veteran as he’ll be going up against a high-powered Silvertips offense that can roll four lines with the best of them. Riddle though has shown throughout his career that he can be relied upon to play big minutes and tonight will be no exception.
Bowen Byram: The Giants are going to need the 16-year-old to do exactly what he did last night, and that’s provide reliable, steady two-way minutes for the Giants on the road in Everett. Byram has three goals and one assists for four points in his past four games.
WHO’S IN GOAL:
David Tendeck?: The Vancouver Giants got a terrific performance from their number one guy last night against Seattle. Tendeck faced 50 shots and stopped all but one en route to his 20th victory of the season. Tendeck’s busy night might mean that Trent Miner gets the nod instead, but Tendeck proved again last night why he’s arguably the top draft eligible goaltender going right now in the WHL. His 49 saves were a new single-game high.
A commitment to Team Defense: The Giants are young and inexperienced on the back-end and at times it showed in last night’s game. Surrendering 50 shots against isn’t necessarily a habit that the Giants would like to continue with, but the impressive thing about last night was that the young defense-corps did not shy away from the challenge. Collective defensive buy-in from all of the Giants forwards and defencemen is going to be imperative to their success on the road against the leaders in the West.