Giants No. 41 Kannok Leipert tries to get around a Cougar Tuesday night (Dec. 17) at the LEC. (Rik Fedyck/Vancouver Giants)

Vancouver Giants downed 3-0 by last-place Cougars

‘We had too many passengers tonight’ coach says

Too many passengers: that was the verdict from Vancouver Giants head coach Michael Dyck following a disappointing – and somewhat surprising – 3-0 loss to the last-place Prince George Cougars on Tuesday night at Langley Events Centre.

“We had too many passengers tonight, too many guys who were thinking about going home (for the holidays) and you are not going to beat anybody with passengers,” he said. “We were well prepared going in tonight (but) we found a way to lose.”

The victory was just the eighth of the season for the Cougars (8-20-1-3) who sit last in the Western Hockey League’s Western Conference, but two of those wins have come at the expense of the Giants (14-15-1-1).

Another troubling aspect of the loss was that while Vancouver had lost their previous game as well (a 3-2 setback on the road on Saturday night in Everett) they at least played much better against the top team in the Western Conference.

“How do you go from one night where you hold Everett to 20 shots in their own building and then you give up 32 at home?” Dyck questioned.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Giants edged out by Everett

In Tuesday’s game, it seemed the teams would head to the second intermission locked in a scoreless tie but the Giants could not clear the zone on a late power play and the puck made its way to Rhett Rhinehart with the defenceman blasting home a one-timer with just 1.6 seconds on the clock.

Josh Maser doubled the lead at 11:33 of the third period redirecting a pass from in front of goaltender Trent Miner with Prince George enjoying a two-man advantage.

Maser completed the scoring with 2:08 to play into the empty net as Vancouver was again short-handed but had pulled the goaltender so it was at least five-on-five as they desperately tried to get on the board.

Each team had 32 shots on goal with Prince George’s Taylor Gauthier continued his stellar play of late, earning his first shutout of the season. He has also stopped 96 of the past 100 shots over the previous three games.

Miner kept the Giants in the game, earning third star honours with his 29-save effort.

But as has been the case too often this season, Vancouver was on the wrong side of the special teams battle.

“We addressed our discipline against this team – we are averaging six penalties every time we play these guys – and we lived up to our average tonight and that was the difference,” Dyck said about the Cougars cashing in on three of their six opportunities while Vancouver was blanked on both their chances.

READ MORE: Giants make big trade

For the season, the Giants are converting just 11.4 per cent of their chances, which is second worst in the WHL. The league average is 20.9 per cent. A few more goals courtesy of their beleaguered special teams could make a huge difference for the Giants who have scored just three power play goals in their past 14 games.

And the formula to fix that is straightforward, the coach said.

“If they would follow the plan that is set in front of them, and again, it’s not rocket science, it’s a matter of getting more pucks to the net, more people to the net,” Dyck explained. “We have a plan; we just don’t have enough guys on the same page.”

The Giants have one more game before the holiday break as they are right back in action with a trip to Kelowna on Wednesday (December 18) against a Rockets team which has gone 7-2-0-1 in their past 10 games and sit nine points ahead of Vancouver in the standings.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

 

Goaltender Trent Miner made 29 saves Tuesday night (Dec. 17) at the LEC for the Vancouver Giants (14-15-1-1) as the team dropped a 3-0 decision to the Prince George Cougars (8-20-1-3). (Rik Fedyck/Vancouver Giants)

Tuesday night (Dec. 17) at the LEC the Vancouver Giants (14-15-1-1) dropped a 3-0 decision to the Prince George Cougars (8-20-1-3). (Rik Fedyck/Vancouver Giants)

Justin Sourdif tangled with a Cougar Tuesday night (Dec. 17) at the LEC as the Vancouver Giants dropped a 3-0 decision to the Prince George Cougars. (Rik Fedyck/Vancouver Giants)

Just Posted

Wrong-way driver triggers multi-vehicle collision on Highway 99 in South Surrey

Police received multiple reports of vehicle heading north in southbound lanes

Surrey Police Board approves creation of municipal force at first-ever meeting

Process for hiring a police chief to ‘start immediately’: McCallum

Tree falls across road in Surrey

Crews on scene to clear the debris

Delta Nature Reserve boardwalk realignment to begin this fall

Stretch of boardwalk to be rebuilt to make room for new Highway 91/Nordel Way vehicle ramp

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

B.C. wildfire crews have battled 111 blazes in the last seven days

Twenty-nine fires remain active, as of Friday (Aug 7)

‘We don’t make the rules’: Okanagan pub owner says staff harassed over pandemic precautions

‘If you have six people plus a baby, guess what? That’s seven’ - West Kelowna Kelly O’Bryan’s owner

Remembering Brent Carver: A legend of Broadway who kept his B.C. roots strong

Over the years, the Cranbrook thespian earned his place as one of Canada’s greatest actors

Statistics Canada says country gained 419,000 jobs in July

National unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July, down from the 12.3 per cent recorded in June

Canada plans $3.6 billion in retaliatory tariffs on U.S. in aluminium dispute

The new Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement that replaced NAFTA went into force on July 1

Canada ‘profoundly concerned’ over China death sentence for citizen in drug case

Police later confiscated more than 120 kilograms of the drug from Xu Weihong’s home

Answers to 5 common questions facing families for the COVID-19 school year

COVID-19 protocols are likely to vary even more at the school board level, and even and school-to-school.

Four activists face charges linked to 2019 Abbotsford hog-farm protest

Mischief and break-and-enter charges laid for incidents on four separate days prior to the protest

Most Read