Vancouver Giants earn 2-1 victory over Prince George

Langley-based G-Men faceoff against the Cougars again on Sunday afternoon at LEC, in round 2.

Just how good have Trent Miner’s numbers been this season?

Consider this: stopping 32 of 33 shots only increased his season save percentage by mere decimal points.

Miner’s numbers now stand at a 1.35 goals against average and a .955 save percentage after he backstopped the Vancouver Giants to a 2-1 victory over the Prince George Cougars on Saturday night at Langley Events Centre in Western Hockey League action.

He entered the game with a 1.41 GAA and .953 save percentage.

Miner also improved to 5-0-1-0 on the season and he is yet to allow more than two goals in a contest.

Vancouver improved to 13-3-2-0 with the victory while the Cougars – who had gone 5-2-1-1 in their previous nine contests – fell to 7-8-1-2.

Saturday’s game was also a showdown between two goaltenders both listed as players to watch by NHL Central Scouting for the June entry draft with Prince George’s Taylor Gauthier listed as a ‘B’ prospect and Miner as a ‘C’.

The duo were also the top two goaltenders selected in the 2016 WHL bantam draft with Gauthier going ninth overall and Miner 20th.

The lone goal to beat Miner took a couple of deflections in front with Connor Bowie getting credit with his first of the season 6:10 into the game.

Vancouver finally got on the board at 11:44 of the second when Tyler Ho scored off a scramble. And 3:23 later, Cyle McNabb capitalized on a turnover in the Prince George zone and beat Gauthier with a snap shot from the slot.

Both Giants players registered their first goals of the season and head coach Michael Dyck said the team knows the balanced scoring attack will pay dividends for the team.

“This team had the luxury last year of relying on one or two guys to put the puck in on a consistent basis. I like what we have got right now in the sense that we can get it from any of the four lines,” he said.

And as has been the case all season, Vancouver has benefitted from stellar goaltending.

Miner made 17 of his 32 saves in the third period, including five in the last minute alone with the goaltender pulled. Prince George did have one shot which struck iron during the final flurry.

“He made the saves he needed to make and (we know) he is going to find the pucks through traffic, he is going to track rebounds,” Dyck said.

This was the second consecutive 2-1 win for the Giants and again, Dyck said winning these playoff-style games will benefit the team down the stretch and in the playoffs.

“Once you start to win these close games, you have a lot of confidence when you get into these situations.”

The teams won’t have much time to rest as they are back at it on Sunday afternoon at Langley Events Centre with a 2 p.m. puck drop.

 

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