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Giants Draw First Blood in WHL Western Conference Championship

Rik Fedyck

In front of the largest home crowd of the season (4917) the Vancouver Giants earned their seventh consecutive victory in the 2019 WHL Playoffs. Friday night at the LEC the G-Men earned a 4-1 victory over the Spokane Chiefs. Owen Hardy paced the Giants attack with a goal and two assists while Dawson Holt, Lukas Svejkovsky and Bowen Byram added the other markers. Arizona Coyotes prospect David Tendeck was phenomenal making 30 saves on 31 shots faced between the pipes. Adam Beckman had Spokane’s lone goal while goaltender Bailey Brkin stopped 26 of the 29 shots fired his way. It was the first road loss of the playoffs for the Chiefs.

BOX SCORE

 1st Period:

VAN – Lukas Svejkovsky (4) got the Giants on the board with a power play marker at 6:25. His shot from the top of the right-wing circle made its way through traffic and past Brkin to put the G-Men on the board. Dylan Plouffe and Tristen Nielsen earned assists.

VAN – Just over two minutes later at 8:37, Dawson Holt (3) padded the Giants lead to 2-0 when he pounced on an Owen Hardy rebound and lifted a backhand shot over Brkin’s stick. Hardy started the play by throwing a hard check on the Spokane defender at the side of the Chiefs goal.

Shots: 11-10 Spokane

2nd Period:

VAN – 57 seconds into the middle frame, Owen Hardy (4) extended his goal-scoring streak to three straight games when he one-timed home a feed from Dawson Holt off the rush. Jared Dmytriw added the second assist to give the Giants a 3-0 cushion.

SPO – The lone goal of the night for Spokane came at 5:30 when they caught a huge break off a dump-in. Ethan McIndoe started the play when he shot the puck into the Giants zone along the right-wing boards. David Tendeck left the net to try and slow the puck down behind the goal, but instead of arriving there, it took an unexpected bounce, deflected off the Giants goal-post and right to Adam Beckman who potted it home for his sixth of the playoffs.

Shots: 12-10 Vancouver

3rd Period:

VAN – Bowen Byram ended all hopes of a Spokane comeback at 18:06 when he placed his fifth of the post-season into the empty net to make it a 4-1 game. Owen Hardy had the lone assist on the goal giving him three points on the night.

Shots: 11-8 Spokane

Final Score: Vancouver 4 – Spokane 1

Final Shots: 31-30 Spokane

David Tendeck: 30/31 saves for Vancouver (6-1)

Bailey Brkin: 26/29 saves for Spokane (10-3)

Giants PP: 1/2

Chiefs PP: 0/1

3 Stars:

  1. David Tendeck (VAN – 30 saves)
  2. Owen Hardy (VAN – 1G, 2A)
  3. Jaret Anderson-Dolan (SPO – 2SOG)

Next Game: Game 2 of the Western Conference Championship Series goes tomorrow night at 7:00 PM from the Langley Events Centre.

NOTES:

  • The Vancouver Giants have now won seven straight games in the 2019 WHL Playoffs.
  • Owen Hardy has scored in three consecutive games for the Giants and has four goals and three assists for seven points in that span.
  • David Tendeck has surrendered just one goal against in each of his past four starts. He’s now 5-1 in the playoffs with a .923 save percentage and a 1.99 goals-against-average.
  • Bowen Byram and Owen Hardy are now tied for the WHL lead in playoff plus-minus with a +12 rating.
  • Chiefs forward Luc Smith left the game early in the first period with an apparent lower-body injury and did not return. His status for Game 2 is unknown at this time.
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