Vancouver Giants goaltender Ryan Kubic denies Brandon's James Shearer with a pad save

Plouffe plays OT hero

Vancouver snaps six-game losing streak with 2-1 win over Brandon at Langley Events Centre



Gary Ahuja

Black Press

A scrap at the second period buzzer turned Friday’s night’s Western Hockey League game 180 degrees, from a lacklustre affair to one in which the crowd was emotionally invested, chanting the opposing netminder’s name in hopes of rattling him.

It was a far cry from the game’s first 40 minutes, which had little intensity or emotion at the Langley Events Centre.

But a scrum at the second period buzzer changed all that.

With the teams together on the side boards, Vancouver defenceman Dmitry Osipov and Brandon Wheat Kings centre Stelio Mattheos wound up dropping the gloves, with Osipov landing several huge shots to his opponent.

And just like that, it was old-time hockey as the teams took turn taking needless penalties and gunning for big, board-rattling hits.

Altogether, the teams combined for 42 minutes in penalties in the third period alone, and the LEC crowd of 4,239 seemed to relish it.

To make it even better for the home crowd, the Giants also came away with a 2-1 overtime victory as Dylan Plouffe’s shot from the top of the circles hit Brandon’s Tyler Coulter and deflected past goaltender Logan Thompson for the decisive goal.

“We wanted to get something set up and it ended up working,” Plouffe said about the team’s strategy on the delayed call.

“(Tyler Benson) laid a perfect pass on the ice and I did what I could to get it on net.”

This was Vancouver’s third straight game which went beyond 60 minutes and with the loser-point in the first two, the team has picked up four of a possible six points, improving to 11-16-1-1. The Wheat Kings fell to 13-10-4-0.

“I liked our game from start to finish in all areas,” said Vancouver coach Jason McKee.

The coach was impressed by his team’s resolve, pointing out that in the past, the team has not been able to recover from surrendering a late goal.

“It could have been easy to let things slide (but) tonight, we stayed with it.”

Vancouver’s Matt Barberis opened the scoring in the first period, corralling a loose a puck at the side of the net and firing home his fifth of the season 6:11 into the game.

That stood as the game’s only goal until the 14-minute mark of the third period as Brandon’s James Shearer took a cross-ice pass from Connor Gutenberg and sniped a shot glove-side on Ryan Kubic.

The goal was a power-play marker as Vancouver was short-handed five times in the final 20 minutes, although many of those were abbreviated penalties.

“We have to learn from that; we took some unnecessary penalties that really could of hurt us but our PK was outstanding,” McKee said.

The bad blood seemingly came out of nowhere.

“It was a heavy game, both teams, for not knowing each other, went at it tonight,” the coach added. “There was a lot of physicality and the guys responded to that.”

Kubic, who finished with 25 saves, was the game’s second star while Thompson, who made 22 saves, was the third star.

Benson, the Giants captain was the first star, setting up the game-winning goal.

Vancouver is back in action on Dec. 3 as they travel to Kamloops to face the Blazers.

•••

With the win, the Giants improved to 4-1 in overtime while the Wheat Kings fell to 1-4.

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

Just Posted

UPDATE: Missing man found

‘Family and police are concerned for his wellbeing at this time’

Police investigating shooting in North Delta

Police say occupants of two vehicles exchanged gunfire near 120th Street and 82nd Avenue

TransLink CEO asks riders not to enforce mask rules after Surrey bus punch-up

A fight broke out on a bus at 96 Avenue and Scott Road involving a man who refused to wear a mask

Defence in Fraser Valley chicken abuse cases asks BC Supreme Court to drop the charges

Sofina Foods and Chilliwack company say undercover video by ‘vigilante group’ violates Charter rights

Surrey’s Johnston Heights reporting COVID-19 exposure

Fraser Health has created a new webpage listing COVID-19 cases in schools

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

Liberals seek to fast track new COVID-19 aid bill after CERB expires

Government secured NDP support for legislation by hiking amount of benefits by $100 to $500 per week

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

She warned her son about toxic drugs, then he was dead

Donna Bridgman’s son died at the age of 38 in Vancouver

B.C. food and beverage producers set record sales in 2019

Farmed salmon again leads international exports

Most Read