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PREVIEW: Vancouver vs. Tri-City Americans (Game #48)

Doug Love

Tonight the Vancouver Giants kick off their longest home stand of the season when they host the Tri-City Americans. A victory tonight would extend the Giants winning streak to four straight, and would move them two points up on Kelowna and within six points of the Victoria Royals in the B.C. Division. The Tri-City Americans come to town with some positive momentum after a 3-2 victory in Prince George Saturday.

 

TRI-CITY AMERICANS

OVERVIEW:

Record: 15-27-4-1

Road Record: 7-16-1-0

Last Game: A 3-2 victory over the Prince George Cougars on Saturday up north.

Last 10: 2-8

Record vs. VAN: 1-2

Goals For/Goals Against: 120 GF/203 GA (-83)

Power Play: 18.8% (14th)

Penalty Kill: 79.1% (12th)

Leading Scorers: Sasha Mutala (17-35-52), Connor Bouchard (9-23-32), Krystof Hrabik (13-16-29)

STANDING ‘TALA’:

In a tough season standings-wise for the Tri-City Americans, one of their glaring bright spots has been the play of 2001-born forward Sasha Mutala. Mutala is from Vancouver and leads all Tri-City skaters with 17 goals and 52 points. He is already 11 points ahead of his point totals from last season and he’s only four goals shy of setting a new season high. Mutala has posted five assists in three previous meetings against the Giants. Earlier this season Mutala recorded a 12-game point streak that started on December 8th at Rogers Arena against the Vancouver Giants. During that streak, Mutala notched seven goals and 11 assists for 18 points. Sasha Mutala was selected by the Colorado Avalanche in the fifth-round of the 2019 NHL Draft.

THE STANDINGS SITUATION:

The Tri-City Americans enter this week 10 points shy of Seattle for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. With 21 games remaining in their season the Ams have 42 available points up for grabs. The Ams have made the playoffs in each of the previous four seasons, but they’ll need to make up some serious ground down the stretch to get back there in 2019-20. The unfortunate news for Tri-City is the fact that they don’t have any head-to-head games remaining against Seattle.

TRI-CITY NOTES:

  • Krystof Hrabik has posted seven goals and seven assists for 14 points over the course of his past 13 games.
  • Hrabik has one goal and four assists for five points against the Giants.
  • Tri-City has gone 3/9 on the power play against Vancouver.
  • Nick Bowman has three goals against the Giants in just two games against them this season.

VANCOUVER GIANTS

OVERVIEW:

Record: 22-20-3-2

Home Record: 10-10-2-0

Last Game: A 3-2 win in Kamloops Saturday night.

Last 10: 5-4-1-0

Record vs. TC: 2-1

Goals For/Goals Against: 121 GF/124 GA (-3)

Power Play: 17.8% (15th)

Penalty Kill: 80.5% (9th)

Leading Scorers: Tristen Nielsen (22-24-46), Eric Florchuk (16-22-38), Sourdif (16-20-36)

NIELSEN’S BIG WEEKEND:

2000-born forward Tristen Nielsen had quite a weekend for the Vancouver Giants. In two games against Kamloops, Nielsen produced two goals along with three assists for five points. On Friday night at home, Nielsen assisted on three of the Giants’ four second period goals in what ended up as a 5-4 overtime victory over Kamloops. Then the next night in Kamloops, Nielsen scored twice in the second period in a 3-2 victory. Altogether, Nielsen has earned points in each of his previous three games and currently leads the team in both goals (22) and points (46). In three games against Tri-City this season, Nielsen has a goal and three assists for four points. The Giants are 10-0 this season in games when Nielsen records two-or-more points.

HOME SWEET HOME:

The Vancouver Giants are looking to take advantage of a lengthy stretch of home games. Between now and Valentine’s Day the Giants will be play five games at home – Three of which are against teams outside the playoffs in either conference. The home schedule coming up for the Giants looks like this:

Tuesday, Feb 4 VS Tri-City

Saturday, February 8 VS Prince George

Sunday, February 9 VS Kamloops

Wednesday, February 12 VS Red Deer

Friday, February 14 VS Victoria

VANCOUVER NOTES:

  • Since the trade deadline the Giants power play has gone 14/35 (40 percent).
  • David Tendeck has won each of his past three starts dating back to January 26th in Kelowna.
  • Trent Miner is 1-1 for the season against Tri-City. His win was a relief appearance against the Americans back on November 2nd.
  • Justin Sourdif has two goals and four assists in three games against Tri-City to lead all Giants.
  • Bowen Byram has five assists in three games against Tri-City.
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