The Vancouver Giants are off to Round 2 of the Western Hockey League playoffs! Saturday night at the ShoWare Center in Kent, WA the Giants earned a 5-1 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds, earning a 4-2 series victory in the process. Jadon Joseph scored twice for Vancouver while Davis Koch added three assists. David Tendeck stopped 33 of the 34 shots he faced between the pipes for the G-Men to earn his second victory of the series. Seattle’s lone goal came late in the third period off the stick of Andrej Kukuca.
VAN – 11:01 into the first period the Giants took a 1-0 lead when Bowen Byram took a Davis Koch feed from the right-wing boards, skated into the left-wing circle and wired home his third of the series past Seattle starter Roddy Ross.
Shots: 13-10 Vancouver
VAN – At 7:14 of the middle frame, Giants captain Jared Dmytriw secured the eventual series-clinching goal while shorthanded. Dmytriw skated the puck out of his own zone down the left-wing, raced wide on a pair of Seattle defenders and then roofed his first goal of the series over the right-shoulder of Ross to make it 2-0 Giants. It was the second shorthanded goal of the series for Vancouver.
VAN – Jadon Joseph (5) potted his first of two goals on the night at 15:08 when he one-timed home a feed from Alex Kannok Leipert from the high-slot. Brayden Watts recorded the second assist on the play.
- Tristen Nielsen took a penalty shot at 16:03 of the second period for the Giants. Roddy Ross stopped him with the left pad.
VAN – Jadon Joseph wasn’t done. At 18:13 of the second, Joseph notched his second of the period and sixth of the series off a Bowen Byram rebound in close. The second assist belonged to Davis Koch.
Shots: 17-10 Vancouver
VAN – 2:40 into the third Tristen Nielsen nabbed the final goal of the game for the Giants when he skated into the slot, took a feed from Davis Koch and placed a perfect backhand shot past Ross for his second of the series.
SEA – At 15:32 of the final frame Seattle got on the board when Andrej Kukuca crashed the net and one-timed home a feed from Noah Philp from the left-wing. For Kukuca it was his team-leading fourth goal of the series.
Shots: 14-3 Seattle
Final Score: Vancouver Giants 5 – Seattle Thunderbirds 1 (Giants win the series 4-2)
Shots: 34-33 Seattle
David Tendeck: 33/34 saves for Vancouver (2-1)
Roddy Ross: 28/33 saves for Seattle (2-4)
Vancouver: 1/3 on the power play
Seattle: 0/5 on the power play
Next Giants Game: Friday, April 5th at 7:30 PM against either Kamloops/Victoria.
- Jadon Joseph scored at least once in five of the six games in Round 1. His six goals are tops among all WHL skaters so far in the post-season.
- 10 of the Giants 25 goals in Round 1 came courtesy of defencemen. Dylan Plouffe had four, Bowen Byram had three, Dallas Hines had two and Alex Kannok Leipert had one.
- Between the pipes, David Tendeck and Trent Miner finished Round 1 with identical 2-1 records. All three of David Tendeck’s starts came on the road, while Trent Miner started all three games at the LEC.
- The Vancouver Giants will face either the Kamloops Blazers or the Victoria Royals in the second round. The Giants were 8-0 against Kamloops during the regular season and were 6-2-1-1 against Victoria.