It took extra time but Tristen Nielsen and the Vancouver Giants outlasted the Royals in front of 4,586 at the Langley Events Centre on Saturday night. The Giants replayed the same defense as Friday night holding the Victoria Royals to just 10 shots on goal.
Giants head coach Michael Dyck said this type of low scoring affair was expected
“It was just one of those hardfought games, and we knew it was going to be that way from the start”
The only lineup change tonight was David Tendeck who started tonight as Vancouver continues to alternate goalies even in the playoffs.
Dyck said its something they plan to continue.
“Right now its working for us, you gotta go with what’s working… right now these guys play extremely well when we alter them”
The first period came and went in very uneventful fashion. in the scoring section. In another sense, there was a positive for the home squad.
Despite a bad start in Game 1, the Giants flipped the script for Game 2 and came out with bodies flying, surely sending a message to the Royals right off the bat.
Notably, it was another bad period for the Royals in the shot category who were only able to manage two shots in the second period.
On the other hand, the Giants were pressing hard physically and offensively putting nine pucks in the first, and a game total of 39 in the win on Griffen Outhouse who nearly stole the game.
Even the Giants players were amazed by his performance. Tonight’s overtime hero, Nielsen talked about it post game.
“We knew right away they had a stellar goaltender who has our number, and our goaltending coach did an excellent job preparing us on him, and telling us not to frustrated
The second period was much more thrilling for the Giants faithful.
Just 2:54 into the middle frame, they saw Giants captain Jared Dmytriw take a cross check to the face from Royals defenseman Jake Kustra who received a five minute major for cross checking on the play. Luckily, Dmytriw did stay in the game.
Victoria's Jake Kustra was assessed a 5 minute major and a GM for this hit on Vancouver's Jared Dmytriw in the 2nd period of Game 2. pic.twitter.com/aUXGphLQrR
— Brandon Rivers (@BriversWHL) April 7, 2019
Soon after came the first goal of the game. Lukas Svejkovsky came through on the power play on a beautiful wrap-a-round play for his second goal of the playoffs.
A goal that earned the Point Roberts native the WHL’s Highlight of the Night.
— The WHL (@TheWHL) April 7, 2019
Little did everyone know what was about to happen.
Mid-way through what should’ve been the final period in Langley tonight, Ralph Jarratt sent a puck towards the net that hit off at least three different players before going over the goal line to even the game.
It was like a scene out of Plinko if you will, with goaltender Tendeck having no chance on the play on the Royals ninth shot on goal of the game.
That fluke goal got Victoria through the remaining time in regulation and 3:29 into sudden death overtime before Tristen Nielsen found the twine thanks to a brilliant Davis Koch pass for the game winning goal.
Koch said although they had 29 more shots than Victoria in the game, patience is the key in the end.
“You can’t get frustrated, they got a good goalie back there when we’re getting opportunities getting a post here and a crossbar there we just gotta keep chipping away”
Dyck gave credit to Koch and Nielsen for hard work to finish it out
“It was a great play down low, those guys did a great job maintaining possession down low.. great play by Tristen (Nielsen) to finish it in front of the net and a great way to win a hockey game”
Nielsen just called it luck.
“Their whole team kinda went into the corner, it was weird but I got lucky there”
Some extra curricular activity took place following the goal, with a bit of a scrum beside Griffen Outhouse.
Alex Kannok-Leipert came off the bench to engage a Royals player, something that earned him a game misconduct at the conclusion of the game and could even earn him some possible supplementary discipline.
Game 3 is set for Tuesday in Victoria, leaving both teams time to rest before these teams do battle on what was a nasty sheet of ice in Game 2.
For the Giants players and Michael Dyck, the most important stretch is between games to get in the rest and recovery.