It wasn’t their best game by any stretch, but the Vancouver Giants walked away with a 4-0 win over the Prince George Cougars to remain undefeated in regulation during the month of November.
Vancouver saw goals from Milos Roman (2), Cole Shepard, and Tristen Nielsen who also added two helpers to earn himself first star.
David Tendeck recorded his league leading third shutout of the season with a 38 save shutout, which coach Michael Dyck said was the positive of the night.
“David Tendeck was really good, having not started a game in a while. We certainly didn’t help much tonight, giving up 38 shots,” Dyck had to say following the win.
Giving up 38 shots to the last place team in the conference is definitely not what you want to see from a team with expectations as high as the Giants’.
To simplify, Dyck was not the least bit happy with this team’s performance Saturday night.
“We were opportunistic is probably a good way of putting it,” Dyck said about scoring four goals on 23 shots.
“I didn’t think we were very good at all. In fact, I was really disappointed with the way we played tonight. It wasn’t even close to the way we’ve played in the last four games. I thought we took a huge step back tonight.”
It did not sound much like a winning postgame, but Dyck was bang on with everything he said. The combination of facing a weak team and a very young goaltender played in Vancouver’s favour, considering the effort they put forth.
As for Tendeck, Saturday was the Arizona Coyotes prospect’s first start since November 2nd. He didn’t seem to miss a beat. The 20-year-old’s thoughts on the game were more mild then his coach’s but were along the same lines.
“I thought it was a sloppy game,” Tendeck started out by saying.
“We weren’t at our best, but we played it simple and we finished our chances, and obviously they didn’t score theirs. I thought we greased it out, and it was a good team effort in the end there.”
On the special teams side, the Giants had two abbreviated power plays on the night. They were given their first power play just over two minutes into the game which lasted 28 seconds as Nielsen went off for interference. The next opportunity came at the end of the game with just 15 seconds left in regulation with the game far out of reach.
The Giants, who are tied for the sixth best penalty kill in the league, had many reps on Saturday, surrendering seven power plays to the Cougars. This was an issue that plagued the team early in the year.
“We can get the penalties out of the game if we play a lot smarter. We get caught up in some antics after the whistle. We can be a lot smarter when we have guys with their backs to us as far as our crosschecks go. Really disappointed tonight,” Dyck said.
Vancouver has had to face ten more power plays than the next team in the league.
The Giants now turn their attention to Dylan Cozens and the Lethbridge Hurricanes (13-6-0-3), who are currently on a two game slide.
Giants head coach Michael Dyck, a Lethbridge native, split time as assistant and head coach over nine seasons with the Hurricanes, and when asked if it’s easy to get up for this game, he said:
Dyck continued with, “Also, just for our group, we’re playing one of the best teams in the league tomorrow. If history proves right, we’ve seemed to rise to the occasion against good teams.”