The Portland Winterhawks strolled into the Langley Events Centre on Tuesday night for their first meeting of the season with the Vancouver Giants. This was Vancouver’s second home game on a Tuesday this month and overall, winning last week’s matchup versus Seattle. Portland had come in losing their last game and the last two of three. The Giants meanwhile came into the rare Tuesday night having lost in the second of back to backs versus Prince George on Saturday, winning the game on Friday and the previous matchup as mentioned versus the Thunderbirds. Both teams boast some hot players, with the likes of Cody Glass, Kiefer Bellows and Joachim Blichfeld appearing for Portland. Vancouver has Tyler Benson, James Malm, and Ty Ronning among others. Portland started Cole Kehler in net, while the Giants countered with David Tendeck.
The Giants looked very good against a formidable opponent such as Portland, and got the first two goals of the game through third year forward Owen Hardy. Hardy scored shorthanded from Dawson Holt at 9:16 of the first period, making a nice play to score. Then he added another unassisted at 18:30 of the first to give the G-Men a 2-0 lead in the first period of action.
Cody Glass was taken 6th overall in this past June’s NHL entry draft by expansion team the Las Vegas Golden Knights. He showed why he was drafted so high in the second period scoring the only goal between the two sides in the middle frame. Glass got his 20th goal on a sweet shot, Blichfeld and Bellows got the assists at 12:37. After 40, it was 2-1 for the home team.
Aidan Barfoot got his third of the season, after scoring in lasts Tuesday’s game, finished off a nice play after some nice buildup by Malm and Hardy at 6:11 of the third. Then Malm would add to his good night scoring two minutes and forty one seconds after Barfoot, making it 4-1 Giants. It was another nice finish from the second year lower mainland native. Assists went to Benson and Dylan Plouffe. Portland got goals just over four minutes apart from Alex Overhardt and Blichfeld to make things interesting late. The Giants sealed the deal though and made it 5-3 with Ty Ronning scoring his 27th of the year.
Portland goaltender Cole Kehler stopped 33 shots of 38 in the loss, while his opposite crease opponent David Tendeck saved 43 of 46 for the Giants. Shots finished 46-38 in favour of the visitors, the Winterhawks were two-for-four on the power play, while the G-Men were zero-for-two. The third star of the game was David Tendeck, second was James Malm, and first was two-goal and one-assist man Owen Hardy. Vancouver (13-13-2-2) hosts Kootenay on Saturday night, while the (20-6-0-1) Winterhawks visit the Silvertips tomorrow night.