PREVIEW: Vancouver Giants at Tri-City Americans (Game #69)
An eventful and revealing road trip for the Vancouver Giants comes to an end tonight in Spokane. Tonight at 5:05 PM the Giants clash with the Tri-City Americans for the fourth and final time in 2017-18. At no worse the Giants will finish this trip with a a.500 record after securing victories in Kelowna Wednesday and Spokane last night. But an already good trip can become a great one with a victory tonight against a Tri-City club that defeated the Giants 6-2 back on Friday.
Home Record: 18-10-4-0
Last Game: A 6-2 victory last night in Portland
Last 10: 5-4-1-0
Goals For/Goals Against: 237/237 (0)
Power Play: 25.7% (5th in WHL)
Penalty Kill: 77.5% (14th in WHL)
Leading Scorers: Jordan Topping (67GP – 37G – 40A – 77PTS), Morgan Geekie (63GP – 27G – 50A – 77PTS), Dylan Coghlan (65GP – 17G – 45A – 62PTS)
WHO’S UP FRONT:
Morgan Geekie: The Carolina Hurricanes prospect had three assists in last night’s win in Portland to compliment his goal and two assists from the night before. Overall he’s got points in three straight and has two goals and five assists in that span.
Sasha Mutala: The 16-year-old rookie also brings a three-game point streak into tonight. He’s got three goals and three assists for six points during that span. He was named the first star on Friday against the Giants after posting two goals and an assist.
WHO’S ON D:
Juuso Valimaki: The Calgary Flames first rounder from 2016 had a goal and two assists in last night’s win in Portland to compliment his goal and an assist from the previous night against the Giants. He now has 38 points through 38 games played this season.
Jake Bean: The Carolina Hurricanes selected Jake Bean with the 13th overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft and for good reason. This season he’s managed 43 points in 52 games split with Calgary and Tri-City. He’s now recorded assists in each of his past three games and is a +3.
WHO’S IN GOAL:
Patrick Dea?: The 20-year-old is 2-0 so far this weekend posting back-to-back 6-2 victories for his team. His record now sits at 19-14-7-0 with a 3.28 goals-against-average, two shutouts and a save percentage of .911.
Michael Rasmussen: The 2017 first round pick of the Detroit Red Wings leads all Tri-City skaters with a goal and four assists in three games against the Giants in 2017-18. He had two goals in last night’s game against Portland and had two assists Friday against the Giants. He like many of his teammates is riding a three-game point streak heading into today’s matchup.
Road Record: 15-12-4-2
Last Game: A 6-5 shootout victory over the Spokane Chiefs.
Last 10: 4-5-1-0
Goals For/Goals Against: 223/239 (-16)
Power Play: 22.8% (13th in WHL)
Penalty Kill: 78.9% (5th in WHL)
Leading Scorers: Ty Ronning (67GP – 57G – 22A – 89PTS), Tyler Benson (55GP – 26G – 40A – 66PTS), James Malm (67GP – 18G – 43A – 61PTS)
WHO’S UP FRONT:
Davis Koch: The 19-year-old has a five-game point streak having now notched eight helpers in his last five appearances. Three of those assists came last night in the victory over Spokane. For the season, Koch now has 21 goals and 33 assists for 54 points and now has 15 points through 23 games in a Giants uniform.
Tyler Benson: The Vancouver captain notched two goals in last night’s game in Spokane to move his total to 26. Benson’s 66 points rank him second on the team in points and in goals. He has three goals and an assist over the past three games.
WHO’S ON D:
Dylan Plouffe: The 18-year-old from Sherwood Park, AB recorded an assist in last night’s win and now sits at nine goals and 31 assists for an even 40 points on the campaign. He’s recorded points in each of his last three games and is a +2 in that span.
Bowen Byram: The 16-year-old from Cranbrook, B.C. snagged an assist in last night’s game and now has 27 points on the season. He leads all 16-year-old rookie d-man in scoring and has done so despite logging major d-zone minutes in all sorts of different situations.
WHO’S IN GOAL:
David Tendeck: Despite Trent Miner’s brilliance last night, it looks as though David Tendeck will return to the Giants net tonight in Kennewick, WA. David Tendeck has been a piller of strength all season for the G-Men posting a record of 25-15-3-2 with three shutouts, a 2.99 goals-against-average and a .913 save percentage.
Power Play: The Giants power play has been a source of strength for them over the past handful of games. The power play went three-for-five in last night’s win and is now six-for-10 on the road trip. A strong power play is going to be essential for the Giants come playoff time, and if they can keep the special teams success going it could mean trouble for the Tri-City Americans.