Giants spill Edmonton Oil Kings

Langley’s Western Hockey League team kicks off new year with two wins in Alberta

Ryan Kubic made 40 saves to backstop the Vancouver Giants to a 3-2 win over the Edmonton Oil Kings Wednesday in Edmonton.

by Troy Landreville

Black Press

The Vancouver Giants are unbeaten in 2017.

This, after back-to-back wins in Alberta this week.

Two days after edging the Calgary Hitmen 5-4 two days earlier, Langley’s major junior hockey team went into Edmonton’s Rogers Place and clipped the Oil Kings 3-2 Wednesday night.

“It was good; a little sloppy at times,” Giants head coach Jason McKee said. “The best way to put it is, we found a way to win the game. We got key saves at key times. It wasn’t picturesque by any means but we’re finding ways to win hockey game and that’s the most important part.”

Brendan Semchuk scored the winning goal with 3:33 left in the third period to lift the Giants to victory.

Ryan Kubic made 40 saves in the Giants’ crease while Ty Ronning and James Malm had Vancouver’s other two goals.

Ronning put the Giants on the board late in the first period, banking the puck off an Edmonton defenceman and into the net after a pretty setup by Matt Barberis.

Adam Berg equalized for Edmonton after the midway mark of the second period, jamming a loose puck past Kubic in the Vancouver crease.

Malm restored the Giants’ lead on a power play early in the third period, redirecting Ronning’s centring pass over the shoulder of Edmonton goalie Patrick Dea.

Trey Fix-Wolansky pulled the Oil Kings back into a tie when he fired a rebound past Kubic just 48 seconds after Malm’s goal. Semchuk bagged the eventual winner off the rush, ripping a hard wrist shot past Dea from the slot.

The Oil Kings out shot Vancouver 42-28.

The G-Men went one-for-two on the power play.

The Giants are 7-0 against teams from the Central Division this year.

The Giants are still trying to recover from a slow start to their WHL season that saw them record just one win in their first eight games.

“Our start really hurt us but we’ve been playing much better the last couple of months, here,” McKee said. “We’ve had some down efforts but at the same time there have been really good ones, too. We’re seeing more consistency in our game which has been our goal, all year.  Hopefully we’ll be continuing with that consistency.”

Vancouver will look to make it three wins in a row when it continues its road trip on Friday night against the Red Deer Rebels.

Face-off is set for 6 p.m.

The Giants will have some firepower back in their lineup with the return of top scoring forward Radovan Bondra from the World Junior Hockey Championships. Bondra played for his native Slovakia during the world tournament.

Vancouver’s next home game will be at the Langley Events Centre next Friday, Jan. 13th, against the Moose Jaw Warriors.

For tickets, click here or call 604-4-GIANTS (604.444.2687).

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