PREVIEW: Vancouver Giants vs. Victoria Royals (Game #49)
Tonight in Langley the Vancouver Giants look to get back in the win column when they once again clash with their B.C. Division rivals from Vancouver Island. The Victoria Royals and Vancouver Giants collide for the ninth time overall and the fifth and final time at the LEC (during the regular season anyway). Just one measly point separates these two clubs in the race for second in the B.C. Division and it’s worth pointing out that if the playoffs were to start today the Giants and Royals would meet for the first time ever in the post-season.
Jan 26 VIC (Game Notes)
Head Coach: Dan Price
Road Record: 12-12-2-1
Last Game: An 8-4 loss in Kelowna last Saturday
Last 10: 6-3-0-1
Goals For/Goals Against: 200/174 (+26)
Power Play: 23.4% (9th in WHL)
Penalty Kill: 73.0% (21st in WHL)
Leading Scorers: Matthew Phillips (48GP – 32G – 43A – 75PTS), Tyler Soy (43GP – 22G – 34A – 56PTS), Dante Hannoun (43GP – 20G – 33A – 53PTS)
WHO’S UP FRONT:
Matthew Phillips: In eight games against Vancouver so far, Phillips has struck for seven goals and seven assists for 14 points. His 75 points are tops in the team and tops among all forwards in the Western Conference. Last season Phillips had 50 goals and 40 assists for 90 points, so he should surpass those totals in 2017-18.
Dante Hannoun: The 19-year-old forward from Delta has 20 goals and 33 assists for 53 points. He’s riding a five-game point streak and during that span has six goals and two assists for eight points. In six games against the Giants he has three goals and six assists for nine points.
WHO’S ON D:
Jared Freadrich: The 19-year-old leads all Royals defenceman with a goal and four assists against the Giants. His 10 goals and 27 total points are also tops among all Royals defencemen. Seven of Freadrich’s goals and 10 of his helpers have come via the power play.
Scott Walford: The 18-year-old Montreal Canadiens prospect has been equally effective on the power play as 14 of his 24 assists have come via the power play. He’s already matched last seasons’s assist total and sits just seven points shy of a new season-high for points. He has four assists against Vancouver in eight games.
WHO’S IN GOAL:
Griffen Outhouse: The 19-year-old has played the third most minutes in the WHL has made the most saves (1305), 39 more than Lethbridge’s Logan Flodell. His overall record is 25-11-3-1 and in seven meetings with Vancouver is 4-3 with a 3.03 goals-against-average and a .924 save percentage.
Tanner Kaspick: 19-year-old St. Louis Blues prospect Tanner Kaspick has fit right in with his new team. Since January 10th he’s scored twice and added two assists in five games. Kaspick had the shootout winner for Victoria a week ago against Vancouver and played an effective game alongside Lane Zablocki and Igor Martynov. For the season he’s notched 14 goals and 27 assists for 41 points in 40 games.
Head Coach: Jason McKee
Home Record: 13-9-1-1
Last Game: A 5-0 loss to Spokane
Last 10: 6-2-1-1
Goals For/Goals Against: 167/171 (-4)
Power Play: 21.7% (13th in WHL)
Penalty Kill: 78.2% (12th in WHL)
Leading Scorers: Ty Ronning (48GP – 42G – 17A – 59PTS), James Malm (48GP – 17G – 31A – 48PTS), Tyler Benson (35GP – 17G – 26A – 43PTS)
WHO’S UP FRONT:
Tyler Benson: The Giants captain comes into tonight’s game with 17 goals and 43 points through 35 games played. He has a goal and four assists against Victoria in five meetings against them. Tonight he’ll look to snap a seven-game goal scoring drought. Benson hasn’t gone more than three consecutive games all season without at least one point.
Ty Ronning: Eight of Ronning’s team-leading 42 goals have come against Victoria. He has six goals in his past five games and still sits second overall in league goal scoring trailing only Moose Jaw’s Jayden Halbgewachs (51).
WHO’S ON D:
Dylan Plouffe: The 18-year-old defenceman has thrived against Victoria in 2017-18 posting three goals and five assists for eight points. He leads all Giants defensemen in scoring with eight goals and 28 assists for 36 points and his +10 rating is tied for the second best on the team.
Matt Barberis: The 19-year-old defenceman has two goals and five assists for seven points in eight games against the Royals. He’s just one point shy of setting a new season high for points in a season. The offensively-gifted defenceman has provided solid two-way minutes all season for Vancouver, but hasn’t scored in 21 games.
WHO’S IN GOAL:
David Tendeck: In six games against Victoria so far, Tendeck is 2-1-0-2 with a 2.99 goals-against-average and a .901 save percentage. Tendeck’s 2.93 goals-against-average is third best in the WHL and his .910 save percentage keeps him in the top 10 in that category as well. Tendeck was ranked #8 in North American on NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm rankings list that were published on Monday.
Special Teams: Vancouver’s penalty kill as of late has been excellent having killed off 55 of their past 61 penalties. Over the past 18 games the Giants have only allowed a power play goal against in four contests. On the flip-side the power play has struggled, going one-for-15 over the past five games. Tonight the Giants will look to turn the tide on the power play while maintaining their strong penalty kill.