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PREVIEW: Vancouver Giants at Tri-City Americans (Game 26)

Judy Simpson

Tonight the Vancouver Giants wrap up the month of November in the same city where they started it – Kennewick, WA. The Giants and the Tri-City Americans will lock horns tonight for the second of four meetings on the season. The Giants are coming off a 3-2 overtime victory last night in Spokane while the Tri-City Americans are looking to avenge a 3-1 loss at home last night against Victoria. Back on November 2nd the Giants earned  6-3 victory over the Americans.

 

TRI-CITY AMERICANS

OVERVIEW:

Head Coach: Kelly Buchberger

Record: 11-10-2-1

Home Record: 5-7-1-1

Last Game: A 3-1 loss last night at home to Victoria

2019-20 Record vs. Vancouver: 0-1

Goals For/Goals Against: 63 GF/80 GA (-17)

Power Play: 19.3% (13th)

Penalty Kill: 83.9% (5th)

Leading Scorers: Sasha Mutala (23GP – 8G – 17A – 25PTS), Connor Bouchard (25GP – 5G – 13A – 18PTS), Kyle Olson (16GP – 5G – 9A – 14PTS)

GETTING ‘WARM’ER:

Tri-City Americans veteran netminder Beck Warm comes into tonight’s game leading the entire WHL with 660 saves. The 20-year-old product of Whistler, BC has a record of 8-10-1-1 this season with a 3.07 goals-against-average and a .918 save percentage. This week Warm has already stopped 69 of the 73 shots he’s faced. Back on November 2nd against the Giants, Warm surrendered five goals against. For his career against Vancouver he’s 1-4-2-0.

MUTALA LEADS THE CHARGE:

Offensively the Ams are led by 2001-born forward Sasha Mutala. The Vancouver, BC product leads the Ams in both goals (8) and points (25). Fresh off being selected by the Colorado Avalanche in the fifth round of the 2019 NHL Draft, Mutala is on pace for a 73 point season. His previous season high for points was set last season with 41. Despite his strong start, Mutala has gone seven games without a goal.

TRI-CITY NOTES:

  • 10 of Sasha Mutala’s 25 points have come via the power play.
  • Mutala also leads the Tri-City Americans with three game winners.
  • Nick Bowman led the way with two goals against the Giants back on November 2nd.
  • Backup goaltender Talyn Boyko is 3-0-1-0 in his five appearances this season with a 2.67 goals-against-average and a .940 save percentage.

 

VANCOUVER GIANTS

OVERVIEW:

Head Coach: Michael Dyck

Record: 13-10-1-1

Road Record: 7-6-0-1

Last Game: A 3-2 overtime victory last night in Spokane

2019-20 Record vs. Tri-City: 1-0

Power Play: 12.2% (21st)

Penalty Kill: 81.5% (9th)

Leading Scorers: Tristen Nielsen (25GP – 13G – 12A – 25PTS), Justin Sourdif (23GP – 11G – 11A – 22PTS), 25GP – 5G – 16A – 21PTS)

NIELSEN’S OT WINNER SINKS THE CHIEFS:

Last night in Spokane, Tristen Nielsen helped the Giants complete their comeback with the overtime winning goal.  The goal came with a minute and 19 seconds left in the extra frame. Nielsen now has 13 goals and 12 assists for 25 points, and is now just seven goals shy of setting a new career high. He’s also just 11 points shy of a new season high for points.

A STRONG FIRST IMPRESSION:

The two newest Giants both earned rave reviews last night from the coaching staff. On the back-end, Connor Horning finished with a +1 rating and seemed to fit right in with his new teammates defensively. Up front, Michal Kvasnica’s Giants debut went well as he settled in with linemates Evan Patrician and Jackson Shepard, playing some important minutes down the stretch with the game tied 2-2. Add the fact that Holden Katzalay played effective minutes in his second Giants game, and the added depth up front came in handy for the Giants.

VANCOUVER NOTES:

  • Justin Sourdif had two goals and two assists for four points against Tri-City on November 2nd.
  • Dylan Plouffe added tw0 goals and an assist in that victory for Vancouver.
  • The Giants are 3-3-0-1 this season against the US Division.
  • Last night the Giants did not have to kill a single penalty. The last time the Giants went a full game without a penalty kill was February 26th, 2018 vs. Kamloops.
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