Ty Ronning scored his 60th goal of the season in a 4-1 Vancouver victory on Wednesday night. Allen Douglas photo

Giants douse Blazers, set up for Royals series

Vancouver, Victoria set to clash in opening round of WHL playoffs

One thing is certain: the Vancouver Giants will face the Victoria Royals in the opening round of the Western Hockey League playoffs.

Who has home-ice advantage, however, will be decided this weekend.

The Giants improved to 36-25-6-3 with a 4-1 road victory in Kamloops at the Sandman Centre on Wednesday night. The victory keeps Vancouver’s hopes for home-ice in the first round alive as they are three points back of second-place Victoria (39-25-4-2).

Each team has two games remaining in the regular season with Vancouver playing a home-and-home series with the Kelowna Rockets — at the Langley Events Centre on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and then in Kelowna the following night — while the Royals face the Everett Silvertips, first in Everett and then in Victoria.

The Rockets are already locked into top spot in the B.C. Division, so the games have no bearing on Kelowna’s playoff position.

The Silvertips, however, are trying to hold off the Portland Winterhawks for first place in the U.S. Division. The Silvertips hold a four-point lead on the Winterhawks, but while Everett has two games left, Portland plays three more times.

On Wednesday night in Kamloops, the home side opened the scoring 11:51 into the contest.

Davis Koch pulled the Giants even less than four minutes later, extending his points streak to seven games in the process.

The second period opened with Vancouver’s Ty Ronning potting his 60th of the season, becoming just the second WHL player to bag that many this season.

Milos Roman, playing just his second game since early January, gave the Giants a two-goal cushion heading into the third.

And Tyler Benson added an empty-net goal.

Benson, Koch and James Malm (two assists) each had multi-point games while goaltender Trent Miner made 39 saves — including 19 in the third period — to win his second straight start.

Miner was pressed into action with starting goaltender David Tendeck out with injury.

Fan Appreciation Night

Friday’s game is also Fan Appreciation Night will two grand prizes of a 2018 Hyundai Sante Fe and a brand new hot tub courtesy of Coast Spas. There will also be other additional prizes handed out.



sports@langleytimes.com

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