Thursday kicks off a very important time of the season for the Vancouver Giants as they begin a stretch in which 11 of their next 13 games are vs. B.C. division opponents. This weekend the Giants have 3 games in 4 nights, starting Thursday evening in Kelowna vs. the Rockets.
In a rare Thursday night game, the Giants and Rockets will both be looking to get back in the win column. The Giants come in with a record of 4-5-0-1, having lost their last two games, while the Rockets are 3-5-1-0 on the season and are in the midst of a 6 game losing streak after starting the year with three wins. Kelowna won the first meeting of the season between these two teams back on October 1, 6-3. Carter Rigby, Damon Severson, and Shane McColgan each had 3 points in the victory. The Giants are still in search of their first road win of the season having gone 0-4-0-0 to start things off.
The Giants return to the Pacific Coliseum on Friday night to play host to the Victoria Royals. The islanders are coming off back to back wins over the Kelowna Rockets and looking to avenge a 5-1 lose at the hands of the Giants back on Thanksgiving Monday; a game in which Brendan Gallagher led the way with 5 points. In 3 meetings this season Vancouver is 2-1-0-0 vs. Victoria. Friday also marks the annual “Celebrity Dash For Cash” event. 13 local media celebrities, along with 12 randomly selected fans will have 60 seconds to pick up as many loonies as possible from centre ice. This year, $20,000 will be thrown on the ice.
On Sunday the Giants will wrap up the weekend vs. the Rockets at 5:00pm at the Pacific Coliseum.
A big key to this weekend will be special teams. The Giants need to improve on both the power play and penalty kill if they want to have success this season. So far the power play is ranked 21st, clicking on just 6-of-46 opportunities (13.0%) and the penalty kill is ranked 20th in the league at 72.3% efficiency.