PREVIEW: Vancouver Giants vs. Regina Pats (Game #20)
A legendary weekend awaits the Vancouver Giants! Tonight at the LEC the G-Men wrap up an eight-game home stand when they battle the Regina Pats for the first and only time in 2018-19. The Pats are playing their second of seven straight games on the road while the Giants are bracing for their first of three games in a span of three days. Both teams are 3-1 in their last four games.
Head Coach: Dave Struch
Road Record: 3-4
Last Game: A 5-2 loss in Cranbrook Tuesday against the Kootenay Ice
Last 10: 4-6-0-0
Goals For/Goals Against: 59 GF/84 GA (-25)
Power Play: 21.2% (13th in WHL)
Penalty Kill: 68.9% (“21st in WHL)
Leading Scorers: Nick Henry (20 GP – 8G – 21A – 29PTS), Jake Leschyshyn (19 GP – 13G – 12A – 25PTS), Aaron Hyman (20GP – 4G -16A – 20PTS)
A DYNAMIC OFFENSIVE DUO:
The Regina Pats are led by a pair of NHL drafted forwards: Nick Henry and Jake Leschyshyn. Henry, a fourth-round pick of Colorado in 2017 leads the way with eight goals and 21 assists for 29 points. His 29 points ranks him tied for 7th in WHL scoring. Leschyshyn leads all Regina forwards with 13 goals and his 12 assists ranks him second on the team with 25 points. He was a second-round pick of the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017.
KEEP AN EYE ON PRATT:
1999-born forward Austin Pratt has scored five goals over his past six games and has registered at least one point in seven of his past eight games. During that eight-game span the Lakeville, MN native has notched five goals and six assists for 11 points. He brings a four-game point streak into tonight’s game.
HYMAN LEADING THE CHARGE FROM THE BLUELINE:
20-year-old Aaron Hyman is hard to miss. He’s 6’5”, 221 pounds and he’s been a big-time offensive factor for the Pats. Coming into tonight’s game, Hyman has notched four goals and 16 assists for 20 points to lead all Regina blueliners. Earlier this month, Hyman recorded back-to-back three-point games in a pair of victories against both Saskatoon and Tri-City. He’s tied for fifth in scoring among WHL defencemen.
Head Coach: Michael Dyck
Home Record: 8-3-1-0
Last Game: A 1-0 loss Sunday at home to Prince George
Last 10: 6-3-1-0
Goals For/Goals Against: 53 GF/39 GA (+14)
Power Play: 19.1% (16th in WHL)
Penalty Kill: 84.4% (3rd in WHL)
Leading Scorers: Milos Roman (19GP – 8G – 6A – 14PTS), Bowen Byram (19GP – 5G – 9A – 14PTS), Brayden Watts (19GP – 4G – 10A – 14PTS)
The Vancouver Giants offense will get a big boost tonight with the return of rookie forward Justin Sourdif. The third overall pick from the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft is fresh off a fourth placed finish at the 2018 World Under 17 Hockey Challenge out East. Sourdif was an alternate captain for Team Canada Red and finished the tournament with a goal and two assists. So far this season with the Giants Sourdif has posted four goals and five assists for nine points.
ONE GOAL GAMES A-PLENTY:
The Vancouver Giants have played in 10 one-goal games so far this season and each of their past four games has been decided by a single goal. The Giants record in one-goal games is 7-1-2-0 and their first regulation one-goal loss came last Sunday against Prince George.
DEFENSE HAS BEEN KEY:
The Vancouver Giants have surrendered the second fewest goals against in the entire WHL. Through 19 games the Giants have only allowed 39 goals, an average of just 2.05 goals-per-game. The only team in the entire league to have surrendered fewer goals against is the Prince Albert Raiders who have surrendered just 34 goals against through 19 games.