Vancouver Giants’ Brendan Semchuk (above

Giants debut with home-ice loss

Result aside, Vancouver Western Hockey League season opener a success at Langley Events Centre

Like a kid at Christmas who gets the toy they want, Langley hockey fans received the gift of Western Hockey League action. Unfortunately for the fans, their shiny new toy didn’t quite work as well as they hoped it would.

The Giants made their much anticipated Langley Events Centre regular season debut on Friday night, falling 7-3 to the visiting Everett Silvertips.

The teams also played the next night at Everett’s XFINITY Arena, with the home side taking it by a 3-1 score.

Dawson Holt scored twice in the opener while Jack Flaman had a goal in both games for the Giants.

Results aside, the game was a success with 4,875 fans taking in the action.

“It is a smaller, more intimate atmosphere than we are accustomed to in Vancouver,” said WHL commissioner Ron Robison, who was in attendance for the game.

“It is a great feel to the building. It has got all the things we want (and) I think it is a great experience for the players to play in a building this full every night.”

The commissioner also commended the Township for stepping up and making the necessary improvements to the LEC. This included new rink boards and LED lighting.

“The experience for the fans and the players and from a broadcast standpoint is exactly what we are looking for,” Robison said.

Friday’s game began with a tribute to the late Gordie Howe, whose family is part owner of the Giants.

The team played a tribute video to the hockey legend and wore special jerseys honouring the man known as ‘Mr. Hockey.’

The Giants also raised Howe’s number nine to the rafters.

And when the game started, the Silvertips raced out to a 4-0 lead, leading 5-1 after 20 minutes. By comparison, Vancouver had just five shots on goal in that period.

The game also featured a pair of Langley products, one on each side.

“I saw a lot of friends and family, even on the Jumbotron. It gives you a little extra energy when you look up and see your jersey or your parents and cousins and stuff like that,” said Everett winger Spencer Gerth.

Gerth estimated he had close to 50 family and friends in attendance.

“It was kind of a surreal experience; (playing in your hometown) is not something a lot of guys get to do,” he said.

“And this is where I played my midget hockey (with the Valley West Hawks); I was sitting in my stall that I sat in (during) midget, so that was pretty cool.”

For the Giants’ James Malm, there were 20 or 30 family and friends in the crowd at the LEC.

“I must not be as popular as (Gerth),” he cracked.

And while Malm said it was a neat experience to play in front of his friends and family, the result was disappointing.

“I wish we could have done better for all the fans out there,” he said.

•••

The Giants are back in action on Sept. 27  when they host the Prince George Cougars.

Vancouver also hosts the Seattle Thunderbirds on Friday night (7:30 p.m.) and the Kamloops Blazers on Sunday afternoon (4 p.m.).

Seattle’s roster has Langley’s Jarrett Tyszka while the Blazers roster features Langley’s Brodi Stuart and Luke Zazula.

 

Just Posted

Fire destroys home in Surrey

Crews called at 3 a.m. Sunday for a residential house fire on the 12000-block of 100 Avenue

Alzheimer’s Society launches helpline

Toll-free phone line available for people with dementia and their caretakers

Art show to be held at White Rock’s Jan’s on the Beach

Art to be displayed until the end of December

New detox centre opens in South Surrey

WhiteRock EHN opened in response to opioid crisis

1st Indigenous woman to start Canadian airline looks to B.C.’s remote regions

Teara Fraser is the first Indigenous woman in Canada to start her own airline, called Iskwew Air

Bankruptcies in British Columbia on the rise

Consumer bankruptcies climbed by 6. 1 per cent in August 2018 from the same month last year.

22 public toilets in Victoria: 136 people currently peeing

World Toilet Day floats some serious health issues

Calgary Stampeders back to Grey Cup with 22-14 win over Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Calgary was favoured to win the 2017 and 2016 Grey Cups, but lost to the Toronto Argonauts and Ottawa Redblacks respectively.

‘A giant step forward’: new $10 bill featuring Viola Desmond to enter circulation

A new $10 banknote featuring Viola Desmond’s portrait will go into circulation, just over 72 years after she was ousted from the whites-only section of a movie theatre in New Glasgow, N.S.

Searchers in California wildfire step up efforts; 77 dead

Trump arrived at the oceanside conclave Saturday afternoon after visiting Northern California to survey the wildfire damage in the town of Paradise.

Trump says ‘no reason’ for him to hear Khashoggi death tape

“It’s a suffering tape, it’s a terrible tape. I’ve been fully briefed on it, there’s no reason for me to hear it,” Trump said in the interview.

Canada Post calls for ‘cooling off’ period to allow for mediated talks

The proposal came as Canada Post workers continued their rotating strikes Monday after rejecting the Crown agency’s latest offer.

Metro Vancouver homicide detectives busy after separate weekend deaths

Homicide detectives in Metro Vancouver are investigating separate cases involving two deaths they say appear to be either targeted or suspicious.

Most Read