Everett Silvertips' Mario Mucka (left) and Vancouver Giants James Malm battle behind the goal during the first period of Everett's 7-3 victory on Friday night at the Langley Events Centre.

Giants can’t overcome first-period hole

'They outworked us' says Vancouver coach following 7-3 season opening loss to Everett

Gary Ahuja

Times Reporter

Trailing 4-0 less than 12 minutes in is a recipe for disaster.

And that is the position the Vancouver Giants found themselves in during their Western Hockey League season opener on Friday night at the Langley Events Centre against the visiting Everett Silvertips.

The Silvertips — aided by a pair of early power plays which they capitalized on — raced out to the 4-0 lead while the Giants had a single shot on goal in that time.

The end result was a 7-3 Everett victory.

“It really hurt us, put us behind the eight ball. They are a good hardworking team and play with lots of structure and we didn’t play with enough tonight,” said Giants head coach Jason McKee, who was making his WHL debut behind the bench.

“That was the difference in the game. They outworked us, they stuck to their plan a lot better than us.”

Several times in that opening 20 minutes, Vancouver had the puck but failed to clear their own zone.

“We lost a lot of battles down low and we didn’t execute our breakouts very well at all.

Not a lot went right for us in the first period,” McKee said.

By the time the opening period was done, Everett had five goals — the same amount of shots on goal the Giants generated.

Each team scored once in the second and third periods.

The game was played in front of 4,875 fans in the first WHL game in Langley.

But McKee did not want to use nerves of playing in front of their home crowd as an excuse.

“A lot of these guys are young guys but they played in the league last year. They are young but Everett has a young team too; I don’t want to use that as an excuse,” he said.

“We have to show up and we have to be ready to play and we simply weren’t.”

Dawson Holt scored twice for the Giants while Jack Flaman scored on a breakaway in the final minute.

Holt was named the game’s second star.

Everett was led by Devon Skoleski — the game’s first star — and Graham Millar, who each potted a pair, while Jake Christianson, Sean Richards and Bryce Kindropp had one apiece.

The Silvertips Lucas Skrumeda was the third star.

McKee did like the fact that his team battled until the end.

“We just didn’t play with enough detail in our game. We just had guys skating around in space and not with a purpose and you are not going to win at this level if you don’t have a purpose where you are moving,” he said.

“We didn’t move well as a five-man group in all three zones.”

The teams complete the home-and-home series on Saturday night at Everett’s Xfinity Arena.

And McKee said he will simplify things for the rematch.

“I think some guys were maybe thinking too much out there. We will simplify it and hopefully (the players) use their hockey instincts and that will pay some dividends.”

The Giants are missing six players who are at NHL training camps and only dressed 17 skaters instead of the usual 18, also lost defenceman Matt Barberis late in the second period.

There was no update on his condition after the game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Ambulance response time concerns White Rock resident

Ambulance arrives 22 minutes after call for service

World Water Day celebrated in South Surrey

City of White Rock manager of utilities Saad Jasim to give a presentation on water Monday

Delta asking for joint provincial-federal review of ‘cashless casinos’

Call for system to prevent money laundering comes as construction is set to begin on Ladner casino

Delta needs education about racism, says new committee

Deltassist’s new Organizing Against Racism and Hate committee held a pair of forums last week

PHOTOS: Calm day on Semiahmoo Bay

Residents and birds flock to the beach during balmy spring weather

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

Search and rescue team helicopters injured climber from B.C. provincial park

A 30-year-old woman suffered a suspected lower-limb fracture in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Trudeau in Vancouver to support Tamara Taggart at Liberal nomination event

The former broadcaster is seeking the nomination for the Vancouver Kingsway riding

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

B.C. VIEWS: The hijacking of our education system gathers speed

Children taught to strike and shout fringe far-left demands

Judges on Twitter? Ethical guidance for those on the bench under review

Canadian judges involvement in community life are among issues under review

Most Read

l -->