Giants tame powerful Cougars at Langley Events Centre

The Vancouver Giants were impressive in beating visiting Prince George, for their second straight win on home ice.

Vancouver Giants forward Brendan Semchuk cut in on goal against the Prince George Cougars during WHL action Thursday at the Langley Events Centre. The Giants defeated the Cougars 4-2.

by Troy Landreville

Black Press

The Vancouver Giants honoured a hockey legend Thursday night at the Langley Events Centre.

On Legends Night, the G-Men wore sharp-looking dark blue jerseys adorned with a single, large, green clover in honour of their late co-owner Pat Quinn.

An established NHL player, coach, and general manager during an NHL career that spanned nearly five decades, Quinn passed away Nov. 23, 2014.

During a pre-game ceremony that paid homage to a man who in many aspects was larger than life, Vancouver Canucks retired greats including goaltenders Kirk McLean and Glen Hanlon (who is the Giants’ general manager), winger Cliff Ronning, and the first captain in Canucks’ history, Orland Kurtenbach, took part in a ceremonial opening puck drop.

Quinn, who will be inducted into the Hockey Hall Of Fame this weekend, coached Ronning and McLean during the Canucks’ historic run to the Stanley Cup Final in the spring of 1994.

On the ice, the Giants had their hands full with the nation’s third-ranked major junior team, the Prince George Cougars who entered the game with a Western Hockey League-best 14-3-2 record.

And after the final buzzer sounded, the Giants prevailed 4-2. They stood together just inside their own blueline and collectively looked skyward and raised their sticks to their heavens – a fitting salute to the “Mighty Quinn.”

It was the Giants second consecutive home win and improved their record to 9-11.

Giants head coach Jason McKee was happy with his team’s effort.

“We wanted to play hard,” McKee said. “Obviously they [the Cougars] are a very good team coming in and we struggled to put two wins together against good teams, and we were able to do that.”

McKee said one thing the Giants can control is their work ethic and they delivered against the Cougars.

“We competed well tonight,” he said.

The Giants opened the scoring with 5:34 to go in the opening period.

Giants captain Tyler Benson flipped a backhand pass to James Malm along the sideboards.

After collecting the pass, Malm wristed the puck which managed to sift through Cougars goaltender Nick McBride before slowly trickling over the goal line.

Prince George tied the score 3:27 later on a hard snap shot off the stick of Brad Morrison, who converted a nifty give-and-go with linemate Jansen Harkins.

The Cougars moved ahead 2-1 when a point shot by Cougars defenceman Cole Moberg skipped past Giants goalie Ryan Kubic’s glove.

The shifty Malm, who was playing arguably his best game of the season, tied the game at two goals apiece.

He snapped home his second of the night after juicy rebound rolled to him off from a Alec Baer shot.

The Giants looked like they had jumped ahead 3-2 early in the third period but the goal was waved off because of incidental contact on McBride.

A second Giants goal of the period was initially called off because it was deemed that Vancouver forward Dawson Holt had knocked the puck into the net with a high stick. But after video review, the goal was awarded to the Giants, and the crowd roared its approval.

The Giants added insurance at the 8:46 mark of the third. Radovan Bondra  muscled a puck that was lying in the crease into the net for his 12th of the season, after Thomas Foster nearly beat McBride on a wrist shot.

McKee said the Giants are starting to show some growth. “I think earlier in the year when we got down 2-1, we might have maybe strayed away from what we were trying to do, and take too many chances. Then you’re down 3-1, 4-1, but tonight we stuck with it and stayed with the game plan and started to shoot the puck more in the second half of the game, and got rewarded for it.”

The players’ confidence is building, McKee said. “There’s a lot of trust starting to build in the room and I think that’s what you need. You’ve got to trust your teammates. I liked again that we were able to roll our four lines and six D’s. Everyone was a part of it and when that’s happening, we’re a team that can compete every night.”

A decent sized Thursday night audience of 3,383 took in the game.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New book details 1893 murder in Abbotsford and 2 trials that followed

Farmer John Marshall was found dead on his Sumas Prairie property

Abbotsford Police Department’s public service counter reopens

Some modified protocols in place for the public due to COVID-19

VIDEO: Abbotsford Time Lapse 2020

YouTube user posts video showing time lapse of several Abbotsford locations

Abbotsford resident receives award from B.C. Historical Federation

Bill Glasgow honoured for work on British Columbia History magazine

VIDEO: #FreeThemAll group protests for prisoner rights in Abbotsford

About 20 participate in car demonstration outside of Matsqui Institution on Sunday

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

COVID-19 checkpoints ‘up to them,’ Bonnie Henry says of remote B.C. villages

Support local tourism economy, but only if you’re invited in

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Eight people arrested in Victoria homeless camp after enforcement order issued

Those living in tents were given until May 20 to move indoors

Most Read