PREVIEW: Vancouver Giants vs. Calgary Hitmen (Game #50)
Tonight at the Langley Events Centre, the Vancouver Giants take the ice for Game 6 of their eight-game home stand. For the first time in 2017-18 the G-Men will clash with the Calgary Hitmen. Tonight marks the first of back-to-back meetings between the two clubs in Langley, and tonight the Giants will look to snap a four-game winless streak which began on January 19th.
Jan 31 (Game Notes)
Head Coach: Dallas Ferguson
Road Record: 5-14-4-1
Last Game: A 7-3 loss on the road in Victoria Sunday
Last 10: 3-7-0-0
Goals For/Goals Against: 150/192 (-42)
Power Play: 19.5% (17th in WHL)
Penalty Kill: 78.5% (7th in WHL)
Leading Scorers: Jakob Stukel (48GP – 23G – 15A – 38PTS), Jake Kryski (48G – 10G – 26A – 36PTS), Vladislav Yeryomenko (40GP – 11G – 20A – 31PTS)
WHO’S UP FRONT:
Jakob Stukel: The 20-year-old prospect of the Vancouver Canucks leads the Hitmen in scoring with 23 goals and 15 assists for 38 points. He’s scored goals in three of his past four games and has three goals and one assist in that span. In January he has seven goals and five assists for 12 points. He was originally a second-round draft pick of the Giants back in 2012.
Jake Kryski: The 19-year-old veteran has pieced together a nice season for the young Calgary squad. He sits second in team scoring with 10 goals and 26 assists for 36 points. Kryski is a veteran of 255 career WHL games (Kamloops, Kelowna, Calgary) and has produced 53 goals to compliment his 94 assists.
WHO’S ON D:
Vladislav Yeryomenko: The second-year defenceman out of Belarus has provided Calgary with steady minutes in all situations this season. Offensively he leads all Calgary rearguards with 11 goals and 31 points. He’s already surpassed his point total from last season by six. The Giants can expect a steady dose of Yeryomenko tonight.
Dakota Krebs: When Calgary dealt Jake Bean to Tri-City before the deadline one of the key pieces coming back was 1999-born defenceman Dakota Krebs. Krebs checks in at 6’4” and 210 pounds and while he won’t dazzle you offensively, he provides some dependable, physical and reliable minutes.
WHO’S IN GOAL:
Nick Schneider?: The 20-year-old prospect of the Calgary Flames has appeared in 44 of Calgary’s 49 games this season. He’s responsible for all 15 of Calgary’s victories and has a total record of 15-22-5-1 with an .882 save percentage, a 3.75 goals-against-average. Dating back to the 2013-14 season, he’s appeared in 186 career games and has an overall record of 91-69-8-3.
Battle Level: The Calgary Hitmen are a young, plucky, hard-working group that aren’t about to make it easy on anybody. A young up-and-coming group of forwards like Riley Stotts, Carson Focht, and Tristan Nielsen gives Calgary some really promising offensive pieces to feel good about, and on the back-end the likes of Dom Schmiemann, Layne Toder, and Egor Zamula give the Hitmen a lot of youth and promise as well. The Giants MUST match the Hitmen work ethic tonight to be successful.
Head Coach: Jason McKee
Home Record: 12-7-3-2
Last Game: A 4-3 overtime loss against Victoria back on Friday night at home.
Last 10: 5-2-2-1
Goals For/Goals Against: 170/175 (-5)
Power Play: 21.2% (14th in WHL)
Penalty Kill: 77.8% (13th in WHL)
Leading Scorers: Ty Ronning (49GP – 42G – 17A – 59PTS), James Malm (49GP – 17G – 31A – 48PTS), Tyler Benson (36GP – 19G – 26A – 45PTS)
WHO’S UP FRONT:
Tyler Benson: The Giants captain came up huge for his team last Friday against the Royals. He scored twice, including the game-tying goal which came with 53 seconds remaining in the third with the net empty. Benson now has 45 points in 36 games, good enough for third place on the team.
Dawson Holt: Not to be outdone Friday was 18-year-old Dawson Holt who chimed in with a goal and an assist for the G-Men. Holt’s January has been strong as he’s scored four goals to go along with five assists and a +7 rating in 11 games. Holt already has new career highs for goals (8) and points (27).
WHO’S ON D:
Matt Barberis: The 19-year-old finished Friday’s game with an assist, a +2 rating and was a goal-post away from giving the Giants the overtime victory. For the season, Barberis has three goals and 24 assists for 27 points, which gives him a new single season high for points.
Alex Kannok Leipert: The 17-year-old draft eligible rookie recorded an assist in Friday’s game and continues to put together an impressive debut campaign in the WHL. The pride of Regina, SK has two goals to go along with 16 assists for 18 points and has a +5 rating through 47 games this season.
WHO’S IN GOAL:
David Tendeck: Does the Giants number one make his eighth straight start tonight? Despite a recent run of losses, Tendeck has remained strong and brings a 17-9-2-2 record to the table with two shutouts, a 2.97 goals-against-average and a .909 save percentage. Trent Miner could be in line to start one of these next two games. The rookie went 14 of 15 when he played the third period a week ago against Spokane.
Davis Koch/Tyler Benson/Ty Ronning: The trio of Ronning, Benson and Koch rose to the occasion when it mattered most Friday against Victoria which hopefully bodes well for them moving forward. Koch has come close in recent games, but has just two assists through his first five games as a Giant. He’s definitely due, and perhaps an old rival (Calgary) in town might give him that extra boost heading into an important stretch of games.