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

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 vs Portland Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Just Posted

An 800-pound pig needs a forever home, Langley animal shelter says

‘Theodore is not destined to be somebody’s bacon’

Condominium market still ‘a lot better’ than normal in Vancouver suburbs

The Fraser Valley, east of Metro Vancouver, has long been considered a more affordable haven for first-time homebuyers.

Langley players stand out as Thunderbirds sweep three-game road trip

Hockey team ranks first in the BC Minor Midget League

PHOTOS: A sharp-dressed Christmas at Krause Berry farm for Langley family

‘I don’t feel that people dress up enough’ mom says

VIDEO: Close encounter with a whale near Canada-U.S border

Ron Gillies had his camera ready when a whale appeared Dec. 7

B.C. Liberals call for outside audit of Speaker’s office

Auditor General implicated in Darryl Plecas accusations of impropriety

Three victims of ex-ski coach Bertrand Charest suing Alpine Canada

The victims are also seeking $150,000 each in punitive damages

Trudeau names four new senators, filling every seat in the Senate

Trudeau has appointed 49 senators since becoming prime minister and will have the chance to appoint more in 2019

B.C. member of parliament takes feds to task on opioid crisis

‘Too many families are tragically losing parents, siblings and children to the opioid crisis.’

B.C. man suffering heart attack not allowed to board Quadra Island ferry

Quadra Island man recovering after being airlifted to hospital in Victoria

Judge gives Michael Cohen 3 years in prison

Judge William H. Pauley III said Cohen deserved a harsh punishment for crimes including tax evasion

Humboldt Broncos, cannabis, Fortnite: Here are Canadians’ top Google searches for 2018

When celebrities died or Canada Post went on strike, Canada turned to Google

Most Read