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11 Games of Winning: Giants 5 vs Royals 2 (February 14, 2020) – Win #8

Rob Wilton

Over the next two weeks, we will revisit all 11 wins during the Vancouver Giants record-matching 11-game regular season winning streak. The streak started on Sunday, January 26th in Kelowna and unfortunately came to an end on Saturday, February 22nd in Everett. Over the course of the streak there were a number of thrilling moments which all helped lead the Giants back into what would end up being a top-two spot in the B.C. Division regular season standings. Today’s journey takes us to the Langley Events Centre for the fifth and final game of a five-game home stand for the Giants – A Valentine’s Day showdown with their closest rivals, the Victoria Royals.

 

WHERE’S THE LOVE?:

The Vancouver Giants (26-20-3-2) had won four straight games at home and seven straight games altogether. Heading into the weekend they trailed the second placed Victoria Royals (29-18-4-1) by just four points for a top two spot in the B.C. Division standings. Despite the Giants current hot-streak, the Royals were no slouch either. They had won four straight games, and were doing their part to keep the Giants behind them in the standings.

As fate would have it, the Giants and Royals were set to meet at the LEC on Valentine’s Day. Given that the two clubs had already met six times in 2019-20, and also had met in each of the previous two playoffs, there was absolutely no love lost between the two clubs. Despite starting the season 1-3 against Victoria, the G-Men were now 3-3 against them. A regulation victory would move them within just two points of second place.

Ahead of a busy weekend, Michael Dyck spoke of the importance of discipline and depth with Dan O’Connor:

JUSTIN ‘SCORE’DIF:

Right around the start of the Vancouver Giants winning streak, something clicked for second-year forward Justin Sourdif. Heading into Friday’s showdown with Victoria, Sourdif had compiled a seven-game point streak with five goals and six assists for 11 points. He needed just one goal to arrive at the 20-goal mark for a second straight season. One of Sourdif’s best offensive performances of the season would come against Victoria on February 14th.

1st Period:

 VIC – Carson Miller (12) opened the scoring for the Royals off a Brayden Tracey rebound at 1:54 of the first to put Victoria up 1-0.

Shots: 10-6 Vancouver

2nd Period:

VAN – Tristen Nielsen (26) pulled the Giants back even at 4:01 when he one-timed home a feed from Justin Sourdif on a two-on-one rush.

VAN – Justin Sourdif (20) gave the Giants the lead at 12:55 from the side of the Royals goal when he knocked home an Alex Kannok Leipert rebound. Milos Roman added the second assist on the play.

VAN – With nine seconds left in the second, Justin Sourdif (21) struck again off the rush. This time the assists came courtesy of Eric Florchuk and Alex Kannok Leipert.

Shots: 10-9 Vancouver

3rd Period:

VIC – Midway through the third period at 10:39, Gary Haden pulled Victoria back within a goal off a breakaway attempt. Haden’s 22nd of the season came unassisted.

VAN – Less than a minute later at 11:30, Milos Roman deflected home a Bowen Byram point shot past Royals netminder Adam Evanoff to make the score 4-2.

VAN – Bowen Byram’s (7) empty net goal at 17:59 helped cement the Giants 27th win of the season. Seth Bafaro and David Tendeck both earned assists.

Shots: 11-6 Victoria

FEBRUARY 14TH HIGHLIGHTS:

POST-GAME AUDIO:

Fresh off a four-point night, Justin Sourdif spoke about his mindset going into his second season:

 

Sourdif was quick to credit his experience at the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in mid-January for helping his turnaround:

 

Head Coach Michael Dyck reflects on a 5-0 home stand:

 

Dyck then spoke about Justin Sourdif, Milos Roman and Tristen Nielsen:

BOX SCORE

Final Score: Vancouver 5 – Victoria 2

Shots: 26-26

David Tendeck: 24/26 saves for Vancouver (16-13-1-1)

Adam Evanoff: 21/25 saves for Victoria (10-20-3-1)

Vancouver Power Play: 0/1

Victoria Power Play: 0/0

3 Stars:

  • Justin Sourdif (VAN – 2G, 2A)
  • Milos Roman (VAN – 1G, 1A)
  • Bowen Byram (VAN – 1G, 1A)

Next Game: A battle with Seattle on February 15th on the road at 6:05 PM.

 NOTES:

  • Justin Sourdif’s four-point game helped extend his point streak to eight straight games. In that span he had scored seven goals along with eight assists for 15 points.
  • Eric Florchuk’s point streak now sat at nine games after he recorded an assist on Sourdif’s second goal. He had 15 points (3G, 12A) in that span.
  • Bowen Byram had notched 15 points over the course of his seven-game point streak. In that span the Colorado Avalanche prospect had four goals and 11 assists.
  • The Giants were 4-3 on the season against Victoria after starting the season 1-3 against them.
  • Friday’s game marked the first time in a span of nine games that the Giants did not score a power play goal. They only had one chance.
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