Petr Moravec scored 97 seconds into overtime as the visiting Tri-City Americans knocked off the Vancouver Giants by a 2-1 score.
The Giants were hosting the Americans on Wednesday night at Langley Events Centre in search of a modest third straight win after Vancouver was a 3-2 winner last Friday (March 11) against the Americans before following that up with a 6-5 win the next night in Portland against the Winterhawks.
Vancouver saw their record fall to 22-29-4-0 and 48 points while the Americans sit last in the Western Hockey League’s Western Conference at 16-36-5-0 and 37 points.
The Giants last won three or more consecutive games in late November/early December.
On Wednesday, the teams were tied at one after 20 minutes, with both goals coming on the same Giants power play.
Eleven seconds after Ethan Ernst was assessed a double-minor for high-sticking, Samuel Ho was able to steal the puck and slip it past Will Gurski to open the scoring. Less than two minutes later, Alex Cotton pounced on a rebound and buried his 14th of the season, tied for fifth among WHL defencemen.
That would be it for the offence with Vancouver having the better of the scoring chances the rest of the way.
Shots on goal were 11-10 for the Giants in the opening 20 minutes before Vancouver held Tri-City to seven shots in the middle stanza and just three in the third period, while the Giants had a dozen shots apiece in each of the second and third periods.
“I thought our third period was pretty good, probably deserved two points, but we didn’t get it. At the end of the day, their goaltender won them the hockey game,” summed up Giants head coach Michael Dyck.
In overtime, Fabian Lysell had a great chance to end in the first 30 seconds, but was denied.
Shortly after, Moravec was able to skate down the ice on a two-on-one, and after the defender committed to the pass and was sprawled on the ice, Moravec lifted a shot that beat Gurski short-side to end the game.
The Giants lost despite receiving five power-play opportunities in the game compared to just one for the Americans, which didn’t surprise Dyck considering the team was missing three or four players at practice this week.
“Our power play needed to be better for sure; (it) looked messy,” he said, also lamenting the fact they surrendered a short-handed goal.
Things do not get any easier for Vancouver as they go from facing the Western Conference’s 10th-place team to the first-place Everett Silvertips (39-9-3-5) in a home-and-home series, beginning today (Friday, March 18) 7:30 pm at Langley Events Centre before the teams head down the I-5 to Everett for the rematch on Saturday.
Ticket information available online.
BY THE NUMBERS
TC – 7:27 into the first period, Samuel Huo (26) stole the puck from the Giants defender, cut to the front of the net, and tucked a shorthanded goal past Will Gurski to stake the Americans to a 1-0 lead.
VAN – 1:59 later Alex Cotton responded for Vancouver by swatting home a Mazden Leslie rebound at 9:26. Jaden Lipinski recorded the second assist on the Giants power play marker.
Shots: 11-10 Vancouver
Shots: 12-7 Vancouver
Shots: 12-3 Vancouver
TC – Petr Moravec ended the game at 1:37 of overtime with his 14th goal of the season that came off a two-on-one rush down the left-wing. Moravec’s shot snuck over Will Gurski’s right shoulder and under the post to give Tri-City the two points.
Shots: 2-1 Tri-City
• Final score: Tri-City Americans 2 – Vancouver 1 (Overtime)
• Final shots: 36-22 Vancouver
• Will Gurski: 20/22 Saves for Vancouver
• Tomas Suchanek: 35/36 for Tri-City
• Vancouver power play; 1/5
• Tri-City power play: 0/1
• 3 stars: 1) Mazden Leslie (VAN – 1A); 2) Samuel Huo (TC – 1G); and 3) Jacob Boucher (VAN – 4 Shots)
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