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PREVIEW: Vancouver Giants vs. Calgary Hitmen (Game #55)

Rob Wilton

Tonight at home, the Vancouver Giants will look to do something that they’ve only managed to do two other times in the span of their existence. A win tonight for the Giants would give them 11 straight victories, which would match their longest ever (regular season) winning streak which they set during the 2008-09 season. (NOTE: The Giants also won 12 straight games during the 2006 playoffs). Standing in their way tonight is a formidable foe indeed. The Calgary Hitmen are 7-3 in their last 10 and have won four straight games heading into tonight.

CALGARY HITMEN

OVERVIEW:

Head Coach: Steve Hamilton

Record: 32-18-4-1

Road Record: 15-9-3-0

Last Game: A 3-2 shootout victory on Wednesday in Victoria.

Last 10: 7-3-0-0

Goals For/Goals Against: 189 GF/161 GA (+28)

Power Play: 22.4% (9th)

Penalty Kill: 79.5% (10th)

Leading Scorers: Riley Stotts (22-37-59), Mark Kastelic (32-26-58), Carson Focht (30-19-49)

ANOTHER LOOK AT WOO:

Vancouver Canucks prospect Jett Woo (D – 2000, Winnipeg, MB) makes his first and only appearance at the LEC this season. Woo heads into tonight’s game on a five-game point streak having recorded seven points (1G ,6A) in that span. The 2000-born defenceman is currently tied for ninth in league scoring for d-men with 40 points (7G, 33A). For his entire WHL career, Woo has compiled 33 goals along with 121 assists for 154 points in 233 games (Calgary/Moose Jaw). Woo is one of two Canucks prospects competing in tonight’s game. The other is 2001-born forward Carson Focht.

NOTABLE CALGARY STREAKS:

  • Mark Kastelic – 5GP/ 8G/ 3A/ 11P
  • Carson Focht – 5GP/ 6G/ 3A/ 9P
  • Jett Woo – 5GP/ 1G/ 6A/ 7P

CALGARY NOTES:

  • Calgary is 2-3-0-1 against Vancouver over the past five seasons.
  • The Hitmen are 1-2 lifetime against the Giants at the LEC.
  • Riley Stotts leads the Hitmen with 22 power play points.
  • The Hitmen are 22-1-1-0 when leading after two periods.
  • Mark Kastelic leads all active WHL’ers with 79 goals over the previous two seasons.

 

VANCOUVER GIANTS

OVERVIEW:

Head Coach: Michael Dyck

Home Record: 16-10-2-0

Last Game: A 3-2 home victory over Seattle

Last 10: 10-0-0-0

Goals For/Goals Against: 163 GF/140 GA (+23)

Power Play: 21.1% (11th)

Penalty Kill: 80.3% (9th)

Leading Scorers: Tristen Nielsen (28-29-57), Eric Florchuk (19-31-50), Justin Sourdif (21-26-47)

A BIG STRETCH FOR NIELSEN:

As the Giants look to push their winning streak to 11 straight games tonight, forward Tristen Neilsen continues to lead the charge. The 2000-born product of Fort St. John, BC has scored goals in each of his previous five games. During that five-game streak he’s also added four assists for nine points. Coming into the weekend Nielsen leads the Giants in both goals (28) and points (57), both of which are new career highs. He also leads the Giants with nine power play goals – One of which came on Monday during the Giants 3-2 home victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds.

NOTABLE PLAYER STREAKS:

  • Eric Florchuk (4G, 15A) brings an 11-game point streak into today’s game. It’s the longest active point-streak in the WHL.
  • Tristen Nielsen has scored a goal in five straight games for the Giants.
  • Justin Sourdif has points in each of his past nine games. During that span Sourdif has seven goals and nine assists for 16 points.
  • Bowen Byram brings a nine-game streak into today’s game. In that span Byram has six goals and 12 assists for 18 points.

VANCOUVER NOTES:

  • Trent Miner earned his first career WHL victory against Calgary back on February 2nd, 2018 in a 4-2 victory at the LEC.
  • Since the trade deadline the Giants power play is 25/62 (40.3 percent).
  • The Giants have scored four or more goals in seven of their 10 victories during their streak.
  • So far this season the Giants are 4-1 against teams from the Central Division.
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