by Troy Landreville
Saturday was a chance for redemption for the Vancouver Giants.
It was anything but.
One night after being suffering a 6-0 shutout at the hands of the Kelowna Rockets at Kelowna’s Prospera Place, the Giants were burned 5-0 by the visiting Rockets in front of 4,233 fans at the Langley Events Centre.
The Giants have just one win to show for their past 10 games and are 4-14-2 since the calendar flipped over to 2017.
And, after Saturday’s loss, the G-Men are now 18-34-2-3 and occupy the Western Hockey League B.C. Division cellar.
Winger Ty Ronning – who leads the Giants in goals (22) and points (43) – said the team needs to continue moving forward.
“It is tough. Losing is not fun and with the Giants organization, we hate to lose,” Ronning said. “I think the biggest thing is, we have to stick together as a group and push ourselves out of it, and at least give ourselves a chance (to win).”
Giants goaltender David Tendeck was seeing red — as in wave after wave of red Rockets jerseys as the visitors dominated every facet of the game and outshot Vancouver 38-19 overall.
And there was a ‘Harlem Globetrotter-esque’ shift in the third period where you could envision Sweet Georgia Brown playing inside the LEC, with the Rockets owning possession and forcing the Giants to chase the puck all through the zone.
The Rockets opened the scoring 8:49 into the first period when Calvin Thurkauf deftly tipped in a shot from Erik Gardiner past Tendeck.
Later, Kelowna’s James Hilsendager made it a 2-0 game with a low wrist shot that flew under Tendeck’s glove.
It took all of 1:01 of play in the middle period for the Rockets to make it 3-0, with Erik Gardiner whipping a rebound into the Giants’ net.
Eleven seconds later, Kelowna’s Lucas Johansen’s snapshot from the point slid past Tendeck who was screened and crouching deep in his crease.
The beat(ing) went on for the Rockets as, at the 14:16 mark of the second frame, their leading scorer Kole Lind one-timed the puck past Tendeck, who had no chance on the play as the Rockets moved ahead 5-0.
That was all the scoring for the night.
The scoreless third period included a couple of spirited tilts, with Lind dropping the gloves with Vancouver’s Bartek Bison and the Giants’ Tristyn DeRoose going up against Kelowna’s Rodney Southam in a centre-ice showdown that saw both players land some haymakers.
“We did some good things, but it wasn’t enough for us,” Ronning said.
Ronning continued, “We’ve go to learn from this; we’ve got to learn that losing is unacceptable and we have fans coming to this rink to watch us play hard. Our second period was awful, our first period was awful, and we kind of gave us a little shot in the third but it’s about working hard and giving what the fans want, and that’s never quitting.”
The Giants are back in action on Family Day Monday, when they host the Tri-City Americans at the LEC. Opening puck drop is 2 p.m.