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PREVIEW: Vancouver Giants vs. Seattle Thunderbirds (Game #54)

Brian Liesse

This afternoon at the Langley Events Centre the Vancouver Giants look to match their second longest winning streak in franchise history when they face the Seattle Thunderbirds for the second time in a span of three days. Fresh off a 6-2 victory in Seattle on Saturday the Vancouver Giants now sit at nine straight wins, and depending on the outcome of a few games today, Michael Dyck’s crew could be tied for second place in the B.C. Division when all is said and done today.

SEATTLE THUNDERBIRDS

OVERVIEW:

Head Coach: Matt O’Dette

Record: 21-26-3-3

Road Record: 10-13-2-2

Last 10: 3-4-1-2

Record vs. VAN: 0-1

Goals For/Goals Against: 149 GF/200 GA (-51)

Power Play: 14.1% (21st)

Penalty Kill: 76.7% (18th)

Leading Scorers: Andrej Kukuca (19-28-47), Kelti Jeri-Leon (21-14-35), Connor Roulette (16-16-32)

ROSS’ REDEMPTION?:

Roddy Ross and the Seattle Thunderbirds will have redemption on their minds as they take to the ice this afternoon against the Giants in the back half of a home-and-home series. On Saturday night Ross surrendered six goals on 32 shots against in a 6-2 loss at home. The Thunderbirds have dropped two straight and they’ll be leaning heavily on Roddy Ross down the stretch as the they look to secure a berth in the playoffs. The 2000-born product of Meadow Lake, SK has appeared in the second most games of any WHL goaltender this season (42 games). Over his previous six games, Ross has faced 211 shots and has stopped 193 of them while posting a 3.18 GAA and a .909 save percentage.

YOUTH ON DISPLAY:

  • 2003-born forward Conner Roulette has points in four straight games (1G, 3A).
  • 2002-born forward Matthew Rempe has goals in three straight games.
  • 2002-born forward Payton Mount has 11 goals and 17 assists and is ranked sixth in team scoring.
  • 2003-born forward Mekai Sanders had one of Seattle’s two goals on Saturday against Vancouver.

SEATTLE NOTES:

  •  The T-Birds enter the day nine points clear of Prince George for the final playoff spot in the West. They are also three points shy of Kelowna for the top wild-card playoff position.
  • The Thunderbirds road power play is 5/98.
  • Kelti Jeri-Leon leads the T-Birds with 21 goals.
  • Andrej Kukuca, Owen Williams, Kelti Jeri-Leon and Conner Bruggen-Cate have suited up in all 53 games for Seattle.
  • Seattle won both of their 2018-19 regular season matchups against the Giants at the LEC. They were 1-2 against Vancouer at the LEC during the 2019 playoffs.

 

VANCOUVER GIANTS

OVERVIEW:

Head Coach: Michael Dyck

Record: 28-20-3-3

Home Record: 15-10-2-0

Last 10: 9-0-1-0

Goals For/Goals Against: 160 GF/138 GA (+22)

Record vs. SEA: 1-0

Power Play: 20.5% (12th)

Penalty Kill: 79.9% (9th)

Leading Scorers: Tristen Nielsen (27-29-56), Justin Sourdif (21-26-47), Eric Florchuk (18-29-47)

THE ROMAN EMPIRE:

As the Giants look to extend their winning streak to 10 games, Milos Roman looks to continue his recent run of individual success. On Saturday night in Seattle, Roman recorded his first career WHL hat-trick in a 6-2 victory over the Thunderbirds. Roman now sits at 21 goals for the season giving him 20-plus goals in each of his previous two seasons. In his last two games, Roman has scored four goals and over the course of the nine-game winning streak, Roman has recorded 11 points (7G, 4A). Last week, the trio of Milos Roman, Justin Sourdif and Tristen Nielsen combined for 10 goals and eight assists in three games. In 151 career games, Roman has 58 goals and 71 assists for 129 points placing him second all-time in scoring for Giants imports.

NOTABLE STREAKS:

  • Eric Florchuk (3G, 13A) brings a 10-game point streak into today’s game. It’s the longest active point-streak in the WHL.
  • Tristen Nielsen has scored a goal in four 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 an eight-game streak into today’s game. In that span Byram has five goals and 11 assists for 16 points.

VANCOUVER NOTES:

  • Milos Roman and Eric Florchuk have both posted hat-tricks since the the trade deadline.
  • David Tendeck has earned victories in each of his past six starts.
  • Tristen Nielsen and Milos Roman each lead the Giants with 13 goals scored at home.
  • The Giants have scored four or more goals in seven of their nine victories during their streak.
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