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 South to the ShoWare Center and the first meeting of the season between the Vancouver Giants and their 2019 playoff rivals, the Seattle Thunderbirds.
BACK ON THE BUS:
After a lengthy home stand that lasted the better part of two full weeks, it was time for the Vancouver Giants to get back on the road. On Saturday, February 15th the Giants took to the I-5 for their first meeting of the season against the Seattle Thunderbirds. The Giants (27-20-3-2) had captured eight straight wins, and were now just four points shy of Victoria for second place in the B.C. Division standings.
Meanwhile the Seattle Thunderbirds were coming off a Friday loss to the Everett Silvertips. The bad news: They had won just three of their last 10, but still managed to record points in six of those games. It marked the first time the Giants and Thunderbirds had faced one another since March 30th, 2019 – When the Giants eliminated the Seattle Thunderbirds from the playoffs with a Game 6 victory. The 2019-20 Thunderbirds were skilled, physical and weren’t about to make life easy on the visiting Giants.
Before the game Giants head coach Michael Dyck spoke about the series from 2019, and some of the life lessons gained from the 2019 rivalry with Seattle.
VAN – 3:10 into the first, Milos Roman (19) one-timed an Eric Florchuk feed past Seattle’s Roddy Ross on a power play to give the Giants a 1-0 lead. Tyler Preziuso also assisted.
SEA – Seattle tied the game at 9:31 when rookie Mekai Sanders (2) tipped home a feed from Cade McNelly.
VAN – Tristen Nielsen (27) restored the Giants lead at 17:38 off a shorthanded rush down the left-wing. Nielsen’s goal was set up by both Trevor Longo and David Tendeck.
VAN – Bowen Byram (8) increased the Giants lead to 3-1 at 19:09 off a shot from the left-wing point that made its way through traffic and home off a faceoff victory. Holden Katzalay and Cole Shepard both earned assists.
Shots: 10-7 Vancouver
VAN – Milos Roman’s (20) second goal of the night came at 4:37 off a slick three-way passing sequence with Tristen Nielsen and Alex Kannok Leipert.
SEA – Matthew Rempe (10) moved Seattle back within two at 11:56 on a power play. Rempe parked himself in front of the Giants goal and knocked home a Connor Roulette rebound.
Shots: 12-9 Vancouver
VAN – Milos Roman (21) recorded his first career WHL hat-trick just 61 seconds into the third period off a one-timer from the high slot. Roman’s goal was set up by both Justin Sourdif and Tristen Nielsen.
VAN – The final Giants goal of the night came courtesy of Trevor Longo (5) off the rush at 15:21. Michal Kvasnica and Holden Katzalay drew the helpers.
Shots: 10-7 Vancouver
FEBRUARY 15TH HIGHLIGHTS:
ROMAN GETS TRICKY:
Final Score: Vancouver 6 – Seattle 2
Final Shots: 32-23 Vancouver
David Tendeck: 21/23 saves for Vancouver (17-13-1-1)
Roddy Ross: 26/32 saves for Seattle (17-19-3-3)
Vancouver Power Play: 1/3
Seattle Power Play: 1/5
- Milos Roman (VAN – 3 Goals)
- Tristen Nielsen (VAN – 1 Goal, 2 Assists)
- Mekai Sanders (SEA – 1 Goal)
Next Game: A rematch with Seattle on Monday afternoon (February 17) at 2:00 PM at the LEC.
- The Vancouver Giants were now just two points back of Victoria for second in the B.C. Division standings thanks to the Royals loss to Kamloops.
- Milos Roman became the second Giant in 2019-20 to record a hat-trick. Eric Florchuk also scored three goals back on January 17th against Victoria.
- Eric Florchuk (10 games), Justin Sourdif (9 games), Bowen Byram (8 games) all extended their lengthy point streaks.
- Tristen Nielsen had now scored in four straight games for Vancouver.
- Saturday marked Kaden Kohle’s 100th career game.