“We found a way to lose tonight.”
That was Michael Dyck‘s opening sentiment to start his postgame scrum after his team fell to the Prince George Cougars by a score of 3-0 in the last home game before the Christmas break.
“We just had too many passengers tonight, had too many guys thinking about going home and you’re not going to beat anyone with passengers,” said Dyck.
It looked as such, being outplayed by a Cougars team that sits at the bottom of the Western Conference with 20 points.
Tuesday also marked the second time this season that Prince George has left with two points at the Langley Events Centre with the other being an overtime win on October 27th.
After almost two fairly uneventful periods, the visiting team broke the 0-0 gridlock with just 1.6 seconds left in the middle frame.
Rhett Rhinehart snapped his third goal of the season — on the power play — past Trent Miner to give Prince George some momentum heading into the final frame.
Tuesday was the Giants’ second game without Bowen Byram as he serves his national team duties leading up to the World Junior Championships, the first Giant to do so since Brendan Gallagher in 2012.
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Penalties continued to prove costly for Vancouver, with Josh Maser making them pay this time around.
With two Giants in the penalty box, the Cougars took full advantage with their set up, giving their captain his 14th of the season and first of two on the night.
“We’re averaging six penalties every time we play these guys and we lived up to our average tonight and that was the difference,” Dyck said on his team’s undisciplined play.
Prince George went 3-for-6 on the man advantage, which included an empty-net goal by Maser.
With the game still very much in reach at 2-0, Miner made consecutive red bell saves in tight to keep his team in it during the last half of the third period.
The Colorado Avalanche draft pick was the lone bright spot for the now below .500 Vancouver Giants, earning himself third star of the game for his efforts.
“He played really well, gave us a chance to win,” Dyck said about his goaltender’s performance.
Vancouver doesn’t have long to dwell on this as they get on the bus first thing Wednesday morning to visit the 2020 Memorial Cup host Kelowna Rockets, who are 7-2-0-1 in their last 10 games and have been adding big pieces to beef up for May with the likes of former Giant Jadon Joseph and Florida Panthers prospect Matthew Wedman.