The Vancouver Giants’ busy month of February continues Friday night when they play host to Everett Silvertips at 7:30 pm at the Pacific Coliseum for the front end of a home and home series with the ‘Tips. Friday marks the beginning of a stretch in which the Giants will play 7 games over 10 days. Vancouver (31-20-1-2) has 18 games left in their regular season schedule, 9 games at home and 9 games on the road, and currently sit in 5th place in the Western Conference standings, 2 points back of the Spokane Chiefs for 4th place, 8 points back of 3rd place Portland, and 11 points up on the 6th place Kelowna Rockets.
The Everett Silvertips come into the weekend playing their best hockey of the season. The Silvertips (14-31-1-8) currently sit in 9th place in the Western Conference with 37 points, 3 points out of a playoff spot. They have won 4 of their last 5 games, including back to back wins over the Victoria Royals Tuesday and Wednesday night in the provincial capital. The club started to turn it around with the return of captain Ryan Murray to the line up. Since Murray came back from the World Juniors the Silvertips are 7-9-0-1. The 18 year old blueliner, who is ranked 3rd overall among North American skaters by the NHL’s Central Scouting, has 5 goals, 9 assists, and 14 points in 17 games since his return. A couple of players are riding point streaks; Cody Fowlie has a 7 game point streak in which he has 1 goal and 7 assists, while Ryan Harrison is riding a 5 game point streak with 3 goals and 4 assists. Goaltender Kent Simpson is 4-0 in his last 4 starts, sporting a 2.25 GAA and .923 SV% in those 4 games.
As for the Giants, Brendan Gallagher continues his quest to break the franchise records for career goals, assists, and points. Heading into Friday’s game he has 125 career goals, 1 shy of tieing Adam Courchaine, 138 career assists, 17 helpers short of Jonathon Blum’s mark, and 263 career points, just 10 points back of Courchaine’s record of 273 points.
The Giants have won 8 straight games over the Silvertips. The back half of the home and home series takes place Saturday night at Comcast Arena in Everett at 7:05 pm.