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

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

VIDEO: Cloverdale’s cancer fundraising country concert hit the mark

Organizers believe the $600,000 goal was reached at the annual Gone Country - Here for the Cure.

Fraser Surrey Docks mechanic dies on the job

‘This is a very sad day - a worker went to his job this morning and didn’t go home’

Man arrested in Maple Ridge in connection with Victoria-area murder

Daniel Creagh faces second-degree murder charge in death of Joseph Gauthier

PHOTOS: Canada Cup action continues at Softball City

The Futures Gold final is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Softball City’s diamond No. 1

BC Wildfire merges two Okanagan wildfires

Large plume of smoke seen over the fire was a controlled event

Two accidents close Coquihalla north and south of Merritt

DriveBC says a crews are en route to each accident

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Lower Mainland teams battle for baseball gold at BC Games

Vancouver Coastal squeaked out a 3-2 win against Fraser Valley

The Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw people signed an agreement-in-principle with the B.C. government

The signing ceremony, at the Eliza Archie Memorial School, was 25 years in the making

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Francesco Molinari wins British Open at Carnoustie

It is his first win at a major and the first by an Italian

Trio overcomes adversity at the BC Games

Zone 4 girl’s 3x3 basketball team fought through injuries and conflicting schedules

Recovery high schools could help teens before addiction takes hold: B.C. parents

Schools could provide mental health supports and let parents discuss their children’s drug use openly

Most Read