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PREVIEW: Vancouver Giants at Spokane Chiefs (Game #38)

Derek Guscott

Tonight in snowy Spokane, Washington the Vancouver Giants take to the ice against their 2019 Western Conference rivals, the Spokane Chiefs for the third time this season. The good news for the Giants: They’ve earned points in four of their last five games. The bad news: They’re winless in their last three games. Eric Florchuk and Kaden Kohle make their Giants debuts tonight in the first of this home-and-home weekend showdown with the Chiefs.

 SPOKANE CHIEFS

 OVERVIEW:

Head Coach: Manny Viveiros

Record: 20-13-4-1

Home Record: 11-7-2-0

Last Game: A 5-3 loss in Portland on Tuesday night.

Last 10: 4-4-1-1

Record vs. Vancouver: 1-0-1-0

Goals For/Goals Against: 138 GF/113 GA (+25)

Power Play: 21.2% (8th in WHL)

Penalty Kill: 78.3% (13th in WHL)

Leading Scorers: Adam Beckman (37GP – 29G – 32A – 61PTS), Eli Zummack (38GP – 13G – 31A – 44PTS), Jack Finley (38GP – 9G – 25A – 34PTS)

THE LEAGUE LEADER:

The Giants are going to have their hands full defensively tonight with Minnesota Wild prospect Adam Beckman. The Saskatoon, SK native comes into tonight’s game with a league-leading 61 points. His 29 goals are second in the WHL only to Everett’s Bryce Kindopp. He’s only one point shy of matching his point totals from last season, and he’s played in 31 fewer games to this point. Beckman brings an 11-game point streak into tonight’s game. During that span he’s notched 16 goals and seven assists for 23 points. He is the reigning Player of the Month in the WHL.

A GOLD MEDAL FOR SMITH:

Spokane Chiefs defenceman Ty Smith was one of six WHL players to capture Gold at the 2020 IIHF World Juniors in the Czech Republic. Smith was the only WHL player to have played in each of the two previous World Junior tournaments for Canada.  This season with Spokane, the New Jersey Devils top prospect has managed four goals and 13 assists for 17 points in 21 games this season with Spokane. No official word yet on whether Smith will play tonight for the Chiefs.

SPOKANE NOTES:

  • Nine different Chiefs have recorded 20-or-more points so far this season.
  • Adam Beckman and Eli Zummack each have a goal and an assist against the Giants this season.
  • The Chiefs are 12-0-2-1 when leading after one period.
  • When leading after two periods the Spokane Chiefs are 16-2-2-0.
  • Filip Kral ranks fourth in scoring among WHL defencemen with 33 points.

 

 

VANCOUVER GIANTS

 OVERVIEW:

Head Coach: Michael Dyck

Record: 17-16-2-2

Road Record: 9-9-1-2

Last Game: A 3-2 shootout loss last Saturday in Kelowna

Last 10: 4-4-1-1

Goals For/Goals Against: 93 GF/96 GA (-3)

Power Play: 11.7% (22nd in WHL)

Penalty Kill: 80.6% (10th in WHL)

Leading Scorers: Tristen Nielsen (37GP – 18G – 19A – 37PTS), Justin Sourdif (34GP – 13G – 16A – 29PTS), Tyler Preziuso (37GP – 14G – 14A – 28PTS)

NEW FACES:

Tonight will mark the Vancouver Giants debut for both 2000-born forward Eric Florchuk and 2002-born forward Kaden Kohle. Florchuk, a prospect of the Washington Capitals, was acquired yesterday in a significant trade with the Saskatoon Blades. A few days prior, Kaden Kohle was acquired by the Giants in a trade with the Tri-City Americans. Florchuk has 24 points in 33 games so far this season, while Kohle had one assist in 28 games. Florchuk will wear #14 tonight while Kohle will sport #17.

THE STANDINGS:

Coming into action tonight the Vancouver Giants sit five points clear of the Tri-City Americans for the top wild-card playoff spot in the Western Conference and seven points up on the Seattle Thunderbirds who are currently on the outside looking in. The G-Men sit seven points back of Kelowna for third in the B.C. Division, but hold two games in hand.

VANCOUVER NOTES:

  • Tristen Nielsen has scored eight goals along with nine assists for 17 points over the course of his past 14 games.
  • Giants defenceman Seth Bafaro has three assists over the course of his past four games and is a +4 in that span.
  • The Giants are 12-0 when leading after two periods.
  • The Giants are 1/6 on the power play against Spokane this season.
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