The Vancouver Giants are heading back to the Langley Events Centre with a series split after a 4-0 loss in Game 2.
Vancouver only managed to muster 15 shots on Ian Scott in a game where, besides the odd spurt, was all Raiders from the opening faceoff.
“We were on our heels to start the hockey game, we came back in spurts but nothing sustained.” Coach Michael Dyck said following his team’s performance.
Prince Albert started Game 2 a whole different team then the game prior. The Raiders outshot the Giants 15-6 in the opening 20 minutes compared to 13-10 in favour of Prince Albert in Game 1.
“We were nervous yesterday, it’s great to have home-ice advantage , but with Game 1, sometimes its almost easier to start on the road….especially when you don’t play the other team a lot but we have our game. Our game is good right now, that’s what’s most important.” Raiders coach Marc Habscheid said about his team’s better start than the previous night.
Dante Hannoun opened the scoring with his second goal in as many nights off what looked to be an accidental pass from Ottawa Senators prospect Parker Kelly as he was driving the puck to the net. Hannoun now has five points in the first two games of the WHL Final and clearly at peak confidence.
“Confidence is huge but you just got to battle through each game and keep working hard.” Hannoun had to say post game.
David Tendeck looked sharp to start the game, making some well positioned saves while being bombarded with scoring opportunities but held the Raiders to just a 1-0 lead after one.
“David played well, he was solid but we got to do a better job of insulating him. We left him hung out to dry a few times.” said Dyck about Tendeck’s game tonight.
Jared Dmytriw was given a goaltender interference in the final seconds of the first that carried over for almost a full powerplay for the Raiders to start the middle frame that Vancouver was able to kill off.
The Raiders put suffocating pressure on Vancouver as the period went on and at 7:43, they were finally rewarded when Sergei Sapego wristed one top corner over Tendeck’s blocker to double the Raiders’ lead.
Vancouver took five penalties in Game 2 and their penalty trouble finally came back to bite them on the Raiders’ third powerplay of the period when Noah Gregor took a nice pass from Hannoun and found the back of the net for the eleventh time in these playoffs, tying teammate Aliaksei Protas for the league lead.
Nothing seemed to click for the Giants all night and at points even looked disinterested, something that is rare to see for Giants fans this season. Rookie forward Justin Sourdif and Calgary Flames prospect Milos Roman were a couple bright spots in a tough night, combining for five shots on goal but creating several more potential scoring opportunities in the process.
Coach Michael Dyck pulled his goaltender with four minutes remaining to get the extra attacker and try to mount a three-goal comeback, something that wouldn’t have been all that crazy to see from a team that scored four goals in 3:21 in Game 2 of the previous round.
Despite some decent pressure with the man advantage, it wasn’t enough as Brett Leason put the game away with an empty netter for his second goal of the series. Ian Scott earned his fourth shutout of these playoffs.
Games 3-5 will be at the LEC on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday in front of what will sure to be a sellout crowd.
Series PP: VAN: 2/6 (33.3%) PA: 2/8 (25%)
Series PK: VAN: 6/8 (75%) PA: 4/6 (66.7%)
- Game 2 was the Giants’ first regulation loss since Game 4 of the first round against Seattle.
- Prince Albert defenceman Max Martin left the game in the second period and did not return due to an undisclosed injury.
- The Giants are 7-1 at home in this year’s playoffs.