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Preseason Preview: Vancouver Giants vs. Portland Winterhawks

Chris Relke

This morning in Everett, WA the Vancouver Giants take aim at their first win of the exhibition season when they clash with the Portland Winterhawks at 11:30 AM. The Giants look to bounce back from a 4-2 loss yesterday to Seattle, while Portland is coming off a 6-5 win over Spokane.

PORTLAND WINTERHAWKS

 OVERVIEW:

Preseason record: 1-0

Head Coach: Mike Johnston

18-19 Record vs. Giants: 4-0

 WHO’S BACK:

 20-year-old Jake Gricius led all returning Winterhawks with 61 points last season. Up front he’s joined by New York Islanders prospect Reece Newkirk, Mason Mannek and 2020 NHL Draft prospect Seth Jarvis. On the back-end, Florida Panthers prospect Johnny Ludvig should log big minutes once again. In goal, St. Louis Blues prospect Joel Hofer will be leaned on heavily.

THE FUTURE:

2002-born forward Seth Jarvis helped Canada capture Silver at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup. Fellow forward Cross Hanas is also first time draft eligible. Also new to the Winterhawks lineup this season will be imports Simon Knak (Switzerland) and Jonas Brondberg.

NHL DRAFT:

Reece Newkirk (2019 – New York Islanders)

Johnny Ludvig (2019 – Florida Panthers)

Joel Hofer (2018 – St. Louis Blues)

 

VANCOUVER GIANTS

 OVERVIEW:

Preseason Record: 0-1

Head Coach: Michael Dyck

18-19 Record vs. Portland: 0-3-1-0

NOTHING LITTLE ABOUT IT:

 2002-born forward John Little led all Giants in scoring yesterday against Seattle, posting a goal and an assist. Originally selected by the Giants in Round 3 of the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft, Little signed with the Giants on August 12th.  Because of his late birthday, John Little won’t be NHL draft eligible until 2021.

NOTABLE DEBUTS TODAY:

Up front, Milos Roman will suit up for his first exhibition game of the season. Defensively both Alex Kannok Leipert and Seth Bafaro draw in. Goaltender Trent Miner backed up yesterday, but is once again making the trip to Everett. Odds are that he’ll take the ice as well.

PENALTY PARADE:

Yesterday the Vancouver Giants and Seattle Thunderbirds combined for 16 minor penalties. The Giants finished the day 1/10 on the power play and 5/6 on the penalty kill. In Portland’s 6-5 win over Spokane, they went 3/7 on the power play. Both coaches would likely appreciate fewer penalties and more five-on-five flow today.

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