For 40 minutes Sunday the Giants completely dominated the Edmonton Oil Kings, staking themselves to an 8-1 lead. The Oil Kings scored six times in the third but fell short in their comeback bid as the Giants held on for their second victory in as many nights. James Malm recorded his first WHL hat-trick and added two assists while Tyler Benson chimed in with three helpers for Vancouver. Davis Koch had two goals and two assists for the Oil Kings. Special teams played a big factor as the Giants went four-for-six on the power play while the Oil Kings went two-for-five. The win moves the Giants to an even 8-8-2-2 on the season and to 4-4 on home ice.
Vancouver burst out of the gates in the opening period scoring three times unanswered. James Malm kick-started the Giants offense early in the first just two minutes and 15 seconds in. He whacked home a Tyler Popowich pass from in close past Edmonton starter Boston Bilous for his eighth of the season and his first of three on the night. Brendan Semchuk made it 2-0 Vancouver on a power play at 7:16 when he one-timed home a pass from Malm from the left-wing circle. Ty Ronning then struck at the 13:08 mark on another power play attempt to increase his goal total to 19 on the season. He’s now recorded at least one goal in his past seven games. Veteran goaltender Travis Child replaced Boston Bilous in the Edmonton net after the 3-0 goal.
Late in the first though the Oil Kings found some life when Ty Gerla scored his third of the season off a strong individual effort. He plowed his way through both Giants defenders before beating Giants starter Todd Scott with a forehand deke to the blocker side.
Period two was all Vancouver as they scored five times unanswered.
Milos Roman and Matt Barberis scored exactly two minutes apart on power plays at 2:04 and 4:04 respectively to make the score 5-1. Then with time winding down in the second the Giants rattled off three more goals in quick succession.
At 16:55 James Malm snuck his second of the game past Travis child off a slick feed from Owen Hardy. Tyler Popowich then got in on the act at 18:14 after Tyler Ho found him all alone in front of the Edmonton net. Then with 16 seconds left in the middle frame James Malm completed his first ever WHL hat-trick when he tucked home his eighth of the season on a wrap-around.
After 40 minutes the score was 8-1 Giants with the shots 26-17 favoring Vancouver.
To the Oil Kings credit they rallied with six unanswered goals in the third providing a legitimate scare to the Giants who were in the final period of a three game, three-night weekend.
All six goals for the Oil Kings came in the final nine minutes of the game. Davis Koch started the comeback attempt at 11:07 with his sixth. 25 seconds later Tomas Soustal deflected home a point shot past Todd Scott to make it 8-3.
At 13:50 David Kope deflected a point-shot home for his second of the season and then Koch tallied his second of the game at 16:29 to move the deficit to 8-5.
With 26 seconds left in the game, Trey Fix-Wolansky scored on the power play for Edmonton, and 20 seconds later Edmonton captain Colton Kehler wired a shot home from the high slot to move his team back within a goal.
That’s as close as the Oil Kings would come however as the Giants killed off the final six seconds of the game and celebrated their eighth victory of the season. Shots were dead even at 36 through 60 minutes.
The victory for the Giants moves them back to the .500 mark with a record of 8-8-2-2 overall and a 4-4 record at home. They’ve earned seven of eight points in their last four games and are now four points ahead of Prince George for a top-three playoff spot in the B.C. Division standings.
Next up for the Giants: Some well-deserved rest before they re-take the ice at home Wednesday to face the Red Deer Rebels.
- Ty Ronning finished the week with four goals and two assists for six points in three games. He’s scored goals in seven straight and has 13 goals and eight assists for 21 points in his past 10 games.
- Five Giants had multi-point games Sunday (Tyler Popowich, Tyler Ho, Tyler Benson, James Malm, and Milos Roman)
- Draft eligible forward Tyler Popowich had Gordie Howe Hat-Trick – One goal, one assist and one fight Sunday.