Vancouver Giants winger Brendan Semchuk had a board meeting with Victoria Royals defenceman Ryan Gagnon during the third period of Wednesday's Western Hockey League game at the Langley Events Centre.

Victoria Royals edge Giants at Langley Events Centre

Goals early in the first and third periods was the difference as the G-Men fall to 1-5 on the season.

by Troy Landreville

Black Press

The captain came back to the Vancouver Giants Wednesday night at the Langley Events Centre.

But in the end, the scoring prowess of 20-year-old Victoria Royals right winger Jack Walker and the late-game heroics of Royals netminder Griffen Outhouse stole the show.

Walker scored a natural hat trick while Outhouse stood on his head in the waning seconds to lead the Royals to a 3-2 win over the G-Men in front of 3,127 fans at the LEC.

The Giants outshot the Royals 16-6 in the third period, had the visitors pinned in their own end during the last five minutes of regulation, and deserved a better fate as they saw their record drop to 1-5.

The game marked the return to the Giants of 18-year-old left winger Tyler Benson, a second round pick of the Edmonton Oilers in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

Benson, the team captain, returned to the G-Men earlier this week and in his first appearance this season, looked more comfortable as the game wore on.

But goals off the hop in the first and third periods stung Vancouver’s momentum.

Giants head coach Jason McKee said there was a lot to like about the game.

“It was a tough one,” McKee said. “That’s what I told the guys. You look at the third period, we deserved a little bit better fate but two goals early in periods, early in shifts, we’ve got to be ready to go there, but I thought we played a real good third period. We created lots of opportunities.”

(Read more below)

Benson was on the ice when the Royals opened the scoring just 14 seconds after the opening puck drop. Walker took a cross-ice pass from Matthew Phillips before firing a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle that beat Giants goalie Ryan Kubic.

“That was a tough one,” McKee said. “First shift, first play, we make a mistake and it’s in the back of our net.”

The Giants equalized 3:40 into the middle frame when Ty Ronning corralled a long feed from defenceman Darian Skeoch, stopped just short of the blueline, and ripped a wicked wrist shot over Outhouse’s blocker. Ronning’s missile bounced off the crossbar and into the net.

The Giants moved ahead 2-1 when Brendan Semchuk snapped a shot off a faceoff, which surprised Outhouse just 2:05 after Ronning’s marker.

Victoria made it 2-2 on a power play, when a fortuitous bounce caused the puck to roll to Walker, who had a wide-open net to shoot at for his second of the night (and season), 10:29 into the second frame.

Not long after that, Ronning had a chance to make it 3-2 when he was sent in alone on a fine three-way passing play, but Outhouse sprawled on his belly to stop his attempt.

Instead, it was Walker scoring his hat trick goal just 2:04 into the third period to put the Royals ahead 3-2. The goal turned out to be the game winner.

McKee hopes the Giants’ bad puck luck has a way of evening itself out as the long season wears on.

“Tonight we didn’t get the breaks,” McKee said. “Hopefully down the road we do get a couple.”

The message to the players, McKee said, is not to get down on themselves.

“I thought we played hard, especially in the third,” he said. “Some things are… the hockey gods. They’re uncontrollable. We’ll get our bounces if we keep working. Tonight was a tough one. I don’t think it was a lack of effort or compete or execution, it’s just a couple tough breaks.”

(Read more below)

The Giants now hit the road for a six-game trip, starting with back-to-back games Friday and Saturday in Prince George.

McKee thinks the trip will be a good thing: “We’ve been at home for a while, here, so I think it will be fresh to get out and spend some time together not only at the rink and other places as well and try to build that cohesiveness. There’s going to be highs and lows and you’ve gotta manage it. It’s a new day tomorrow and we’ll go back at it.”

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

B.C. Ferries wants input on concepts for a Horseshoe Bay terminal re-design

Ferry corporation accepting public feedback until Oct. 13

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

Most Read