Tyler Benson and the Vancouver Giants scored a huge win, taking down the Portland Winterhawks 5-3 on Dec. 5 at the Langley Events Centre. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Giants stun high-flying Winterhawks

Vancouver scores huge 5-3 win over Portland in WHL action at Langley Events Centre

It had the potential to drastically go the other way.

The Portland Winterhawks — ranked second among all Canadian Junior Hockey League teams in the most recent polls, having only lost five of their first 26 games — had scored twice to pull within one of the Vancouver Giants.

Four minutes and change still remained and the ice seemed tilted towards the Giants end of the ice.

This was the same Vancouver team which surrendered seven unanswered goals in the final nine minutes of a game less than a month earlier, escaping with an 8-7 victory after time expired before the visitors could pot another.

But this time, the Giants called timeout and coach Jason McKee told the team to stay calm.

A dozen seconds later, Ty Ronning capitalized off a great feed from Tyler Benson to make it 5-3, which would turn out to be the final score on Tuesday night at the Langley Events Centre.

The win — the Giants third in four games — improved the team to 13-13-2-2 while Portland fell to 20-6-0-1.

“Your veteran guys have to respond in those situations and they did,” McKee said.

“And our guys were committed to the cause and emotionally invested. I thought they played the right way for most of the game.”

The Giants never trailed in the contest.

Owen Hardy scored twice in the first period — once short-handed after Dawson Holt won a battle along the boards to feed Hardy who was all alone in front of the goal and then again after he won a face-off and fired the puck short-side past Cole Kehler.

The Winterhawks cut the lead to 2-1 with the only goal of the second period when Cody Glass struck on the power play.

But Aidan Barfoot and James Malm made it 4-1 with goals less than three minutes apart in the third before Portland mounted a comeback that fell short.

Hardy was the game’s first star with three points, as he also set a new career high with seven WHL goals.

It was also his first game as centre as he has always played wing in his previous 134 games.

“I just play the same way every night and the puck went in for me tonight, which was nice,” he said. “And hopefully I can keep it going.”

“We wanted to add some size and strength up the middle, some guys who can win some battles down low and I thought he did that,” McKee said.

Goaltender David Tendeck also came up large, making 43 saves as Portland outshot Vancouver 46-38.

Tendeck was indifferent to how many shots he faced as long as his team got the ‘W’.

“They score a couple but there is nothing you can about it, you just have to refocus and stop the next shot,” he said about what was going through his mind against the Western Conference’s top-scoring team, one which features six NHL draftees.

Vancouver also did this minus two of their top four defencemen, who are still out with injuries.

“That is a very good team, their special teams are good and they have a lot of high end guys there and our team battled hard and got some great goaltending from Dave in the end and throughout the game, and that is what you need to beat teams like that,” McKee said.

The teams will complete the home-and-home series on Friday in Portland before Vancouver returns to the LEC on Dec. 9 when they host the Kootenay Ice.


sports@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Vancouver Giants James Malm had a goal and an assist in his team’s 5-3 win over Portland at the Langley Events Centre on Dec. 5. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Vancouver’s Dylan Plouffe and Portland’s Bronson Sharp battle. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Vancouver’s Dylan Plouffe and Portland’s Bronson Sharp battle. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Milos Roman sprays Portland goalie Cole Kehler. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Milos Roman sprays Portland goalie Cole Kehler. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Giants goalie David Tendeck made 43 saves his team’s 5-3 win. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Giants goalie David Tendeck made 43 saves his team’s 5-3 win. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

WHL action at Langley Events Centre, Dec. 5 Vancouver Giants’ Ty Ronning and Brad Morrison crash the Portland goal. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

WHL action at Langley Events Centre, Dec. 5 Vancouver Giants’ Ty Ronning and Brad Morrison crash the Portland goal. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

WHL action at Langley Events Centre, Dec. 5 Vancouver vs Portland Gary Ahuja Langley Times

WHL action at Langley Events Centre, Dec. 5 Vancouver vs Portland Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Just Posted

Police watchdog investigating after pedestrian struck and killed in Surrey

IIO investigating after male killed in crash shortly after being released from police custody

Surrey Mounties say 40 intoxicated teens found on ‘party bus’ in Newton

Police received tip teens and young adults were drinking on party buses and limousines in Strawberry Hill

PHOTOS: Players putt their way to Las Vegas at Surrey MSOP tournament

Two-day regional qualifier held at Eaglequest Coyote Creek

B.C. cabinet minister denies that Surrey mayor’s friend attended government meeting

Surrey councillor questions Vancouver businessman Bob Cheema’s involvement in official meeting

Electric car-share company to bring 2,000 vehicles to Surrey/White Rock

SUMO is to launch next year with 150 vehicles, and increase to 2,000 by 2022

VIDEO: Drone footage documents work to free salmon at Big Bar landslide

Video shows crews working to remove rocks and wood, and transporting salmon by helicopter

Defense says burden of proof not met in double murder case against Victoria father

Closing statements begin in trial for man accused of killing daughters Christmas 2017

B.C. dog breeder banned again after 46 dogs seized

The SPCA seized the animals from Terry Baker, 66, in February 2018

Three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

Vancouver police could be using drones to fight crime by end of year

The police department has already purchased three drones, as well as three others for training

Grand opening of Molson Coors Fraser Valley Brewery at Chilliwack cause for celebration

Ribbon-cutting with dignitaries, Molson brass and family marked the official grand opening

Rick Mercer calls out Conservative candidate in B.C. for fake meme

‘Not true. All fake. Please Stop,’ tweeted Rick Mercer in response

Bear killed in Kimberley after chasing girl, wreaking havoc on town

This particular brown-coloured bear has been the subject of many calls this summer; very food habituated, CO says

Powder the muskets, zombies are coming!

Fort Langley National Historic Site offers up A Survivalist’s Guide to a Zombie Apocalypse, Sept. 28

Most Read