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RECAP: Vancouver Giants 4 – Edmonton Oil Kings 3 (S.O.)

Andy Devlin

Wednesday night at Rogers Place in Edmonton, AB the Vancouver Giants (21-14-3-2) earned a hard-fought 4-3 shootout victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings (10-22-4-2). Rookie forward Tyler Ho secured the Giants victory with a goal in the seventh round of the shootout and added two assists during regulation. Tyler Benson, Aidan Barfoot and Dylan Plouffe had the goals and David Tendeck turned aside 37 of the 40 shots he faced through 65 minutes, and six of the seven he faced in the shootout to backstop the Giants to their second straight victory. Brett Kemp answered with a goal and an assist for the Oil Kings who trailed 2-0 and 3-1 during the game, but fought back to earn a single point.

BOX SCORE

Vancouver jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead thanks to a pair of goals scored a minute and 17 seconds apart. Edmonton Oilers prospect Tyler Benson got the G-Men on the board at 7:27 when he deflected a Ty Ronning shot past Edmonton starter Josh Dechaine. Dylan Plouffe added the second assist on Benson’s 15th of the campaign. Two shifts later at the 8:44 mark, Aidan Barfoot parked himself at the side of the Edmonton goal and knocked home a Darian Skeoch rebound for his fourth of the season. Tyler Ho also assisted on the play.

Through one period the Giants led 2-0 and held 15-8 edge in shots.

Edmonton pushed back in the second period and got themselves on the score sheet at 6:01 when Brett Kemp snapped home his ninth of the season off a two-on-one rush. The home side kept coming, but David Tendeck made some clutch saves to keep his team ahead by one. Just over six minutes after Kemp’s tally, the Giants restored their two-goal advantage when Dylan Plouffe skated into the left circle and blasted home his seventh of the season high and over the shoulder of Dechaine. Plouffe’s goal was set up by Tyler Ho and James Malm.

Despite being outshot 13-7 in the middle stanza, the G-Men took that 3-1 lead into the second intermission.

The Edmonton Oil Kings refused to go quietly though, and would end up tying the game off two similar rushes. First Tomas Soustal one-timed home his 11th of the season off a pass from Trey Fix-Wolansky on a two-on-one at 5:26. Then at 10:34 defenceman Conner McDonald one-timed home a Scott Atkinson pass off the rush to make it 3-3.

David Tendeck had to come up big with some point-blank saves in the final minutes just to keep the game tied, and fortunately for the Giants they had secured a single-point on the road and were heading to overtime for a third straight game.

Both teams had ‘Grade A’ chances in overtime, but David Tendeck and Josh Dechaine would not be denied. Tendeck’s best sequence of saves came early in overtime off of Trey Fix-Wolansky, and Dechaine stopped Tyler Benson point-blank a few minutes later. Dylan Plouffe also came close to ending it for Vancouver but he hit the goal post on a clean look at the net.

At the end of 65 minutes the score remained tied 3-3 and for just a third time in 2017-18 the Giants would need a shootout to determine their fate.

Neither team capitalized in Round 1 as both Tomas Soustal and Ty Ronning were denied.

In Round 2 both captains: Colton Kehler (Edmonton) and Tyler Benson scored for their respective teams to even the shootout score at one goal apiece.

From there, David Tendeck was perfect as he stopped Trey Fix-Wolansky, Davis Koch, Brett Kemp, David Kope and Carter Souch in that order.

Dechaine denied the likes of James Malm, Owen Hardy, Brad Morrison and Dylan Plouffe before eventually surrendering a goal to Tyler Ho in the seventh round.

The rookie forward skated in slowly on Dechaine before stopping in close and lifting a high shot over his left shoulder. Ho was mobbed by his teammates as they celebrated the Giants ninth road victory of the season and their second in a row against Edmonton.

Final shots through 65 minutes were 40-34 for Edmonton who have now gone six straight games without a regulation loss. Meanwhile the Giants have just one regulation loss over their last 11. Both teams went scoreless on the powerplay as Edmonton finished zero-for-three while the Giants were unsuccessful on their lone power play attempt which lasted all of 46 seconds.

Through 40 games the Giants have accrued 47 points which puts them a single point ahead of Victoria and just four points shy of Kelowna for the B.C. Division lead. Jason McKee’s crew will look to inch a little closer to first on Friday when their five-game road-swing continues in Lethbridge against the Hurricanes.

NOTES:

  • With his 15th of the season, Tyler Benson now has a new season-high for goals.
  • David Tendeck has now won each of his past four road starts dating back to December 1st in Prince George.
  • The Giants penalty killers have not allowed a goal against in eight of their last 10 games.
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