Giants drop home opener

Bowen Byram returns to Langley-based team to play against Portland

With the expectations of another run to the WHL championship on the minds of the fans, the Vancouver Giants raised both their 2018/19 B.C. Division and Western Conference championship banners to the Langley Events Centre rafters on Friday night.

But it was the visiting Portland Winterhawks who skated away with the two points following a 4-2 victory.

“It is nice seeing those go up. We haven’t had those in a while,” said Giants captain Alex Kannok Leipert. “(But) we just have to build that culture again because we are a different team from last year. We can’t expect to be where we were in May right now.”

The Winterhawks never trailed, leading 2-1 after one period and 4-1 through 40 minutes.

READ MORE: Assembling a new Vancouver Giants not an easy task

Tristan Nielsen’s power-play goal in the opening minute of the final frame gave the Giants some life but despite a 14-6 shots on goals advantage in the third, Vancouver could draw no closer.

The teams traded goals 10 seconds apart in the first period with Clay Hanus striking on a Portland power play before Milos Roman answered right back. Tyson Kozak would give the Winterhawks a 2-1 lead through 20 minutes before Lane Gilliss and Tyson Kozak added second-period markers.

“Second period, we got out of sync and we got a little frustrated,” said Vancouver head coach Michael Dyck, adding the team’s third period was a much better effort. “With the lineup we have right now, we are going to have to play a really smart game. We are young up front, our power play has to convert, and we have to stay disciplined.”

The Giants power play did connect on one of five chances, but the penalty kill also allowed two goals on four shots.

“We held onto the puck a little bit too long a couple of times there and just some undisciplined things,” Kannok Leipert said. “(But) you can take a lot away from that game. They played quick. They were good on their opportunities. They got a few bounces. We got a lot better and we are going to bounce back tomorrow. We will be OK.”

The Giants, who sit at 2-1-0-0 on the season, are right back in action as they travel to Kamloops to face the Blazers. Vancouver wraps up the weekend with a return game at Langley Events Centre against the Kelowna Rockets. Game time is 4 p.m.

READ MORE: Byram signs three-year-contract with Avalanche

Friday’s game did mark the return of Bowen Byram, as the defenceman was sent back to Vancouver by the Colorado Avalanche. And the fourth overall pick in last June’s NHL Draft jumped right into the lineup and finished with a pair of assists.

Next up, a trip to Kamloops on Saturday (Sept. 28) to play the Blazers at the Sandman Centre. Puck drop is 7 p.m.

Photos by Rik Fedyk

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Friday’s (Sept. 27) game against Portland marked the return of Bowen Byram to the Giants, as the defenceman was sent back to Vancouver by the Colorado Avalanche. Rik Fedyk photo

Comments are closed

Just Posted

South Surrey bottle-depot owner calls for decorum among customers

Heimin Lee said his Semiahmoo recycling facility has been ‘like a war zone’ since Easter

Proposed Marine Drive zone aims to make use of small lots ‘more efficient’

CR-3A zone discussed during White Rock’s first virtual public information meeting

Surrey-area associations gear up for hockey restart

But it’s not yet clear when city-operated rinks and rec centres will reopen

White Rock calls for street-banner artists

Deadline to apply is 4 p.m. July 24

Rugby practices to return to Lower Mainland fields this fall

B.C. Rugby announced its return to play plan July 7

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Investigation clears RCMP in incident where man fell from Langley overpass

‘Officers acted commendably and placed themselves at risk’ police watchdog report finds

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Rural Chilliwack residents asked to stay indoors, lock doors amid heavy police presence

Heavy police presence in rural Chilliwack neighbourhood as RCMP contend with ‘serious situation’

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Most Read

l -->