The lack of confidence that may have been plaguing the Vancouver Giants over the first 25 games of the season is no longer a concern.
The Western Hockey League team is on a four-game unbeaten streak, and has just three regulation losses in the past 11 games.
The Giants edged the Victoria Royals 4-3 last Wedenssday (Dec. 16) at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, dropped a 2-1 decision on home ice Friday to the Everett Silvertips, then edged the ‘Tips 2-1 Saturday in Everett to complete the first half of their schedule.
The Giants, winners of seven of their last 11 games, have now moved to within four points of the Portland Winterhawks after having played 36 of their 72 regular season games. Portland is in eighth place overall in the Western Conference and holds the final playoff position.
Vancouver finished a stretch of four consecutive games against the Victoria Royals with a win Wednesday night at the Pacific Coliseum, their third of the midseason series against the Royals.
Owen Hardy and Carter Popoff tallied in the first period to give the Giants a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes, but they trailed 3-2 with less than six minutes to play.
Brennan Menell tied the score with five and one-half minutes to go, then Chase Lang netted the winner with less than two minutes remaining. Trevor Cox of Surrey had a pair of assists.
Two nights later, the Silvertips were the visitors in the Coliseum, and needed just 85 seconds to open the scoring. Ty Ronning’s 20th goal of the season left the teams tied 1-1 after the first period.
Everett tallied the lone goal of the second period, but a powerplay effort from Lang tied the game with 10 minutes left in regulation time. The Silvertips got the winner 98 seconds into extra time.
Everett outshot Vancouver 37-20, but a huge game from Ryan Kubic in the Vancouver goal allowed the Giants to earn a point.
Saturday night in Everett, the Silvertips scored three minutes into the game, but couldn’t get another puck past Kubic, who stopped 16 of 17 shots in the first period and needed to make just 10 saves over the final 40 minutes.
Lang, on the powerplay, tied the game for Vancouver midway through the second period. Tyler Benson got the winner, tipping home a pass from Lang with seven minutes to go.
The Giants will play their third consecutive game against the Silvertips Sunday afternoon (Dec. 27) in Vancouver at the Pacific Coliseum at 2 p.m. They will then play three times against the Prince George Cougars, on Wednesday (Dec. 30) in Vancouver before two games Jan. 2-3 in Prince George.