What was supposed to be a night off for goaltender Ryan Kubic quickly changed.
The Vancouver Giants goaltender was summoned into action less than three minutes in after the Red Deer Rebels scored on their first two shots, erasing the Giants 1-0 lead after Owen Hardy had opened the scoring.
And the move paid off as Kubic stopped 35 of 36 shots, plus both Red Deer attempts in the shootout, to lift Vancouver to the 4-3 win on Saturday night at the Langley Events Centre in Western Hockey League action.
“Everyone goes through that, from the pro guys to the junior guys,” Kubic said, about what message he offered David Tendeck, the goaltender he replaced.
“As you get older, you know you always have to be ready (to go in at any time).”
The victory improved the Giants to 19-36-2-3.
It was also a chance for some redemption for Kubic, who let in six goals the night before in a 6-1 loss to Kamloops.
“Character is definitely built on the game after the bad game so I felt really great,” Kubic said.
“We needed a momentum shift, especially after last night, We didn’t want the game to get away from us,” said coach Jason McKee.
“I think it was more of a break for the guys to reset and Ryan (Kubic) came in and did well.”
The only goal to beat the netminder was an easy tap-in from Lane Zablocki — his second of the night. Akash Bains had the other Rebels goal.
In addition to Hardy’s goal, Ty Ronning and Tyler Popowich scored for the Giants.
And in the shootout, Ronning and Jack Flaman beat Red Deer goaltender Riley Lamb to secure the extra point.
The Giants are back in action tonight (Friday) when they host the Victoria Royals at the LEC. Puck drop is 7:30 p.m.
The Giants also announced that they will be collecting donations in support of Basics for Babies for Fill the Rink night when they host Portland on March 1.
Country music star Dallas Smith will be in attendance at the game and hosting a meet and greet with fans. Smith will be signing autographs and taking photos with fans during the first intermission in the Envision Financial Banquet Hall. To attend the meet and greet, fans need to bring a minimum donation of $10.