PREVIEW: Vancouver Giants at Tri-City Americans (Game #67)

Tonight in Kennewick, WA the Vancouver Giants kick off a stretch of three games in three nights when they battle the Tri-City Americans for the third time in 2017-18. Much has changed since these clubs last faced each other in early October and tonight the Giants look to make it two straight road victories when they battle the Tri-City Americans who are one point shy of clinching a playoff spot in the Western Conference. It’s also a Tri-City club that’s lost four straight and are neck-and-neck with the Seattle Thunderbirds to try and clinch that first wild-card spot.

March 9 TC Game Notes



Record: 32-24-8-1

Home Record: 15-14-4-1

Last Game: A 4-3 loss in Seattle on Tuesday

Last 10: 4-5-1-0

Goals For/Goals Against: 225/233 (-8)

Power Play: 25.3% (6th in WHL)

Penalty Kill: 77.9% (11th in WHL)

Leading Scorers: Jordan Topping (65GP – 36G – 38A – 74PTS), Morgan Geekie (61GP – 26G – 45A – 71PTS), Dylan Coghlan (17G – 44A – 61PTS)


Jordan Topping: The 20-year-old leads the Ams in both goals (36) and points (74). He’s the only Tri-City skater to suit up in all 65 games up to this point, and he’s already seven points ahead of his previous season high for points which came two seasons ago. He has a goal and an assist against the Giants in two games.

Morgan Geekie: The 19-year-old prospect of the Carolina Hurricanes leads the team with 45 assists and sits second on the team in overall scoring with 71 points. The 2017 third round pick of the Carolina Hurricanes has three goals in his last three games. He leads all Tri-City forwards in power play scoring with seven goals and 21 assists.


Dylan Coghlan: Back in September, the Vegas Golden Knights inked 1998-born defenceman Dylan Coghlan to an entry-level contract. Coghlan has rewarded that faith with 61 points in 63 games played. On a blueline that also features Jake Bean and Juuso Valimaki it’s been Coghlan who has provided the most offence.

Jake Bean:  The first-round pick of the Carolina Hurrincanes from 2016 helped Canada to a Gold Medal at the 2018 World Juniors in Buffalo. Since joining the Ams in a trade with the Calgary Hitmen near the deadline, Bean has notched four goals and 10 assists for 14 points in 25 games played. Overall he has 41 points in 50 games.


Patrick Dea: The 20-year-old has back-stopped the Ams to a record of 17-14-7-0 with two shutouts, a goals-against-average of 3.34 and a .909 save percentage. His .909 save percentage ranks him tied for third in the WHL behind only Carter Hart, David Tendeck and Griffen Outhouse.


Michael Rasmussen: The ninth overall pick from the Detroit Red Wings in 2017 has had an ice season for the Ams when he’s been healthy. His 25 goals and 25 assists give him 50 points through 41 games. He’s only six points shy of setting a new season high for points in a WHL season.





Record: 34-23-6-3

Road Record: 14-11-4-2

Last Game: A 4-3 overtime win on the road Wednesday in Kelowna

Last 10: 4-5-1-0

Goals For/Goals Against: 215/228 (-13)

Power Play: 21.3% (14th in WHL)

Penalty Kill: 79.2% (6th in WHL)

Leading Scorers: Ty Ronning (65GP – 56G – 22A – 78PTS), Tyler Benson (53G – 24G – 39A – 63PTS), James Malm (66GP – 18G – 41A – 59PTS)


Tyler Benson: The Giants captain came through in the clutch yet again on Wednesday when he snapped home his 24th of the season in overtime to lead the Giants over the Kelowna Rockets. Benson how has 24 goals and 39 assists for 63 points which ranks him second on the team behind only Ty Ronning. Benson has points in eight of his last 10 games and has five goals and seven assists for 12 points in that span.

Ty Ronning: The 20-year-old New York Rangers prospect has points in four of his last five, and three goals and an assist overall in that span. Ronning buried his 56th of the season on a power play Wednesday and remains tied with Swift Current’s Glenn Gawdin for second in the WHL in goals. Ronning had a goal and two assists against Tri-City back in October.


Alex Kannok Leipert: The rookie defenceman ripped home his fifth of the season late in the third period Wednesday which helped the Giants tie the score in a game they ultimately won 4-3 in overtime. Kannok Leipert has five goals to compliment his 16 assists and he’s a +3.

Dylan Plouffe: The Giants leading point producer from the back-end had an assist and was a +3 Wednesday against the Rockets. For the season Plouffe has eight goals and 30 assists and is tied with Ty Ronning for the team lead in plus-minus with a +11 rating.


David Tendeck: The 18-year-old is 1-0 against Tri-City this season and is 25-14-3-2 for the season. Tendeck’s .914 save percentage is second in the league behind Carter Hart and he’s coming off a 35 save victory Wednesday in Kelowna.


 The Process: At this time of year the ‘how’ is just as important as the end result of the games for Vancouver. Sure they beat Kelowna Wednesday in overtime, but even had the Giants not won the game, chances are Jason McKee and Dean Chynoweth would have been satisfied with the effort, the execution and the desire displayed by the Giants. Tonight it needs to be more of the same as the Giants battle a reeling Tri-City club that has struggled as of late.

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