The Vancouver Giants are heading into their holiday break on a winning note. Sunday night in Langley in front of 3500-plus at the LEC the Vancouver Giants (22-8-2-0) earned a hard-fought 2-1 victory over the Prince George Cougars (11-19-1-2). Brayden Watts notched both goals for the Giants, the latter of which came with under a minute remaining in regulation on a power play. Davis Koch and Bowen Byram each added a pair of assists. Jackson Leppard had the lone tally for Prince George. Both goaltenders put on a clinic Sunday with Giants starter David Tendeck and Cougars starter Taylor Gauthier combining for 62 saves.
Cougars forward Jackson Leppard opened the scoring for the visitors at 4:02 when he pounced on a Giants turnover in the slot and snuck a low backhand shot past David Tendeck for his seventh of the season. The Giants outshot the Cougars 9-6 but trailed 1-0 after one.
The Giants got into some penalty trouble early in the second, and David Tendeck made sure he kept his team within striking distance. Tendeck had a four-save sequence that will undoubtedly appear on some of the WHL weekly highights. Moments later his teammates would reward him. Brayden Watts evened the score at 1-1 at 9:23 when he snapped a Davis Koch rebound past Taylor Gauthier. The Giants were outshot 17-12 in the middle frame, but went into the third period tied 1-1.
David Tendeck and Taylor Gauthier continued their impressive display of goaltending in the final frame. Tendeck was busy making eight saves, while Taylor Gauther made 12 stops of his own. Special teams were the difference in the final period as the Cougars went zero-for-two on their power play chances, while the Giants took advantage in the waning stages of the third. Brayden Watts secured the game winning goal at 19:11 of the final period when he hopped on a Bowen Byram rebound and scooped a backhand shot over the left shoulder of Taylor Gauthier and in for his second of the night and seventh on the season to secure the win for the G-Men.
Final Score: Vancouver 2 – Prince George 1
Final Shots: 34-31 Vancouver
Vancouver Power Play: 2/5
Prince George Power Play: 0/5
David Tendeck: 30/31 saves for Vancouver (12-6-1-0)
Taylor Gauthier: 32/34 saves for Prince George (7-13-1-1)
Next Giants Game: December 28th in Red Deer marking the start of a six-game road-swing through the Central Division.
- Sunday’s win for the Giants improved their overall record to 22-8-2-0, their record against the B.C. Division to 12-3-1-0 and their record against the Prince George Cougars to 4-1.
- Four of the five games between the Giants and Cougars have been decided by a single goal.
- The Giants go into the break with a 12-point lead on the Kelowna Rockets for first in the B.C. Division standings. The Giants have also played in three fewer games.
- In three starts this season against the Prince George Cougars, David Tendeck has gone 2-1 with a goals-against-average of 0.67 and a save percentage of .977.