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PREVIEW: Vancouver Giants vs. Portland Winterhawks (Game 56)

Chris Relke

This afternoon at the LEC the Vancouver Giants wrap up their season series with the Portland Winterhawks at 3 PM! The Giants bring a seven-game winning streak into this afternoon’s contest while the Portland Winterhawks look to secure their third victory in as many games. The Giants are coming off a 2-0 road victory against Kelowna and come into today tied with Everett for first place in the Western Conference standings while still holding one game in hand. The Giants are 0-2-1-0 so far this season against Portland.

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PORTLAND WINTERHAWKS

 OVERVIEW:

Head Coach: Mike Johnston

Record: 35-16-3-3

Road Record: 13-10-1-2

Last Game: A 5-2 home ice victory last night against Seattle

Last 10: 6-3-0-1

Goals For/Goals Against: 224 GF/171 GA (+53)

Power Play: 22.7 (6th)

Penalty Kill: 83.4% (4th)

Leading Scorers: Joachim Blichfeld (57GP – 48G – 50A – 98PTS), Cody Glass (36GP – 14G – 54A – 68PTS), Jake Gricius (57GP – 22G -28A – 50PTS)

IN THE ‘BLICH’ IF AN EYE:

Joachim Blichfeld’s final season in the WHL has been one for the books. The 1998-born product of Frederikshavn, DEN comes into tonight’s game leading the WHL in both goals (48) and points (98). He’s accomplished those totals through 57 games played. Over his past three games, Blichfeld has scored three goals along with three assists for six points. Yesterday against Seattle Blichfeld led all Portland skaters with three goals and one assist. He’s looking to become the first Portland Winterhawk to record 50-or-more goals in a season since fellow Denmark native Oliver Bjorkstrand accomplished that feat during the 2014-15 season.

GLASS RETURNS:

Cody Glass returned to the Portland Winterhawks lineup on Friday after being sidelined for a handful of weeks with a lower body injury. The first ever draft pick of the Vegas Golden Knights has recorded a goal and three assists so far this weekend, and brings an impressive statline of 14 goals and 54 assists for 68 points in just 36 games played this season. Glass represented Canada at the 2019 World Juniors and has posted a goal and an assist for two points in two games this season against the Vancouver Giants.

PLAYOFF CHASE:

Coming into today’s game the Winterhawks are five points back of the Everett Silvertips for first place in the US Division. On the other side the Winterhawks hold a 10 point lead on the Spokane Chiefs for second. The Winterhawks became the third Western Conference team to clinch a playoff spot thanks to their victory yesterday against the Seattle Thunderbirds.

 

 

VANCOUVER GIANTS

 OVERVIEW:

Head Coach: Michael Dyck

Record: 39-13-2-1

Home Record: 22-5-1-1

Last Game: A 2-0 road victory over the Kelowna Rockets

Last 10: 8-1-0-1

Goals For/Goals Against: 179 GF/127 GA (+52)

Power Play: 22.3% (9th)

Penalty Kill: 85.1% (2nd)

Leading Scorers: Davis Koch (55GP – 22G – 57A – 59PTS), Bowen Byram (55GP – 21G – 33A – 54PTS), Milos Roman (49GP – 22G – 21A – 43PTS)

IT’S TRIW:

Vancouver Giants captain Jared Dmytriw is doing everything within his power to ensure that his final season of junior hockey goes the distance. The Craven, SK native comes into tonight’s game riding a three-game goal scoring streak and over the past seven games he’s managed four goals and three assists for seven points. All seven of those games have been victories for the Giants. For the season, Dmytriw has 14 goals and 17 assists for 31 points which is a new career high. He’s just two goals shy of setting a new season high for goals in a season. Back on February 8th in Kamloops, Dmytriw suited up in his 300th career WHL game. Dmytriw currently ranks sixth in team scoring.

THE WESTERN CONFERENCE DRAGON:

Today’s matchup with Portland will mark the final time the Giants will have seen Portland this season. So far the Giants are 0-2-1-0 against the Winterhawks, meaning that the Winterhawks are the only Western Conference team that the Giants have yet to defeat this season. All three games have been close, and many on the Giants side would argue that they deserved a better fate. The last time these teams met was February 1st in Portland when the Winterhawks skated to a 3-0 home ice victory.

 

 

GIANTS NOTES:

 

  • The Giants power play is six for it’s last 18
  • The Giants are 15-1-0-1 in their last 17 games
  • The Giants last regulation loss at home came on December 14th against Everett.
  • 12 of Davis Koch’s 22 goals have been scored in the third period.

Davis Koch and Milos Roman each l

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