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PREVIEW: Vancouver Giants at Victoria Royals (Game #33)

Chris Relke

The holiday break is over and the push to the playoffs officially begins now for the Vancouver Giants. Michael Dyck’s team kicks off the unofficial second-half of the season tonight against a familiar foe, the Victoria Royals. So far this season the Giants are 0-2 against their 2018 and 2019 playoff rivals, but will look to capture their second consecutive victory altogether when the puck drops tonight.

 

VICTORIA ROYALS

OVERVIEW:

Head Coach: Dan Price

Record: 17-11-2-0

Home Record: 10-6

Last Game: A 3-1 loss on Wednesday, December 18th vs. Spokane.

Last 10: 6-3-1-0

Goals For/Goals Against: 79 GF/82 GA (-3)

Power Play: 19.1% (15th)

Penalty Kill: 84.5% (4th)

Leading Scorers: Tarun Fizer (30GP – 9G – 16A – 25PTS), Gary Haden (28GP – 13G – 11A – 24PTS), Keanu Derungs (30GP – 8G – 11A – 19PTS)

THE SEASON SERIES SO FAR:

So far this season the Victoria Royals are 2-0 against the Giants, posting a pair of 3-1 victories against them. The first win came at the LEC on October 20th and most recently they defeated the Giants on December 4th. Five different Royals (Bryks, Jones, Derungs, Cutler, Haden) have recorded two points against Vancouver. Both goaltenders (Gould, Farkas) are 1-0 against Vancouver. Victoria’s power play is 1/7 against Vancouver through two games.

A STRONG STRETCH FOR FIZER:

2001-born forward Tarun Fizer is in the midst of a breakout season for the Royals. Coming into tonight, he leads all Royals skaters with 25 points through 30 games. Since November 22nd (a stretch of 11 games), Fizer has notched two goals and nine assists for 11 points. He’s only 10 points shy of surpassing his point totals from a season ago.

VICTORIA NOTES:

  • Goaltender Shane Farkas is a 6-0 lifetime against the Vancouver Giants.
  • The Royals are one of just two teams in the entire WHL to occupy a top three divisional playoff spot with a negative goal differential (-3). The only other team that can say that is Saskatoon (-20)
  • Gary Haden leads the Royals with four power play goals and 10 power play points.
  • Over the course of his last 11 appearances, Shane Farkas is 8-2 for the Royals.

VANCOUVER GIANTS

OVERVIEW:

Head Coach: Michael Dyck

Record: 15-15-1-1

Road Record: 8-9-1-0

Last Game: A 4-3 road victory on Wednesday, December 18th vs. Kelowna

Last 10: 4-6

Goals For/Goals Against: 82 GF/87 GA (-5)

Power Play: 12.0% (21st)

Penalty Kill: 79.9% (11th)

Leading Scorers: Tristen Nielsen (32 GP – 16G – 17A – 33PTS), Justin Sourdif (30GP – 12G – 15A – 27PTS), Tyler Preziuso (32GP – 13G – 13A – 26PTS)

PREZIUSO FILLS THE NET:

Newly acquired forward Tyler Preziuso has managed four goals over the course of his first four games in a Giants uniform. The product of Victoria,  B.C.  has scored in all but one of his first four games with the Giants, and comes into tonight’s game with an even 13 goals and 13 assists for 26 points on the season.

NIELSEN KEEPS ROLLING:

Over the course of his past nine games (dating back to November 22nd), Tristen Nielsen has registered six goals and seven assists for 13 points. In that span he’s managed four multi-point games and is a +11. Coming into action tonight he leads the Giants in both goals (16) and points (33) and he’s only three points shy of setting a new single-season high for points.

VANCOUVER NOTES:

  • The Giants have outshot or tied their opponent for shots in each of their past eight games.
  • The Giants are 11-3-0-1 when they score first this season.
  • Vancouver’s record is 13-0 when they score more than four goals in a game.
  • John Little became the fifth Giant of the season to register his first WHL goal this season. The other four are: Zack Ostapchuk, Justin Lies, Cole Shepard and Tanner Brown.
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