Prince George Cougars defenceman Cole Moberg looks to evade the forechecking of Vancouver Giants centre Tyler Popowich in the first period of Saturday’s WHL game at the Langley Events Centre. Troy Landreville Black Press

Prince George Cougars defenceman Cole Moberg looks to evade the forechecking of Vancouver Giants centre Tyler Popowich in the first period of Saturday’s WHL game at the Langley Events Centre. Troy Landreville Black Press

VIDEO: Prince George Cougars edge Vancouver Giants 7-6 in OT in wild affair

Visitors score with 0.3 seconds to go in regulation to tie game, then net OT winner

Just when it looked like the Vancouver Giants were going to get blown out for the second straight time on home ice, they changed the narrative in an epic way.

Or so it seemed.

The Giants erased a 4-0 first period deficit against the visiting Prince George Cougars and, up 6-5 with literally no time left in the game, appeared as though they had locked up an improbable comeback victory.

Not so fast.

With the Cougars’ net empty for an extra attacker, Prince George captain Dennis Cholowski scored with .03 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 6-6 and send it into overtime.

Then, with 11.7 seconds to go in OT and Giants defenceman Matt Barberis in the penalty box for hooking, a seeing-eye wrist shot off the stick of Prince George centre Kody McDonald drifted past Vancouver goaltender Todd Scott and into the net to give the Cougars a 7-6 victory.

The goal was McDonald’s 18th of the season and third of the night.

“It was one of those games where (the) last shot won,” Giants head coach Jason McKee said. “We did a lot of good things tonight, we put up almost 50 shots on goal. Down 4-0 and battling back was good. It was obviously a heartbreaker and throughout a season we’re going to get some of those and tonight, unfortunately, we had one.”

Earning a single point was small consolation for a Giants squad that on Dec. 27 was spanked 11-0 on home ice by the Everett Silvertips.

And you could hear an audible groan among the crowd of 3,767 fans just 6:46 into Saturday’s game, when the Cougars jumped out to a 4-0 lead.

But by the time the final buzzer sounded, the Giants had stomped all the way back, outscoring the visitors 6-1 up until the late game heroics.

McKee liked the Giants’ resolve in coming back from 4-0 and, later in the game, 5-2 down.

“It could have been easy, considering our last home game and the way it went… it wasn’t the start we were looking for but we stuck with it, and it was a second away from a huge win for us,” McKee said.

The Giants were looking for their 20th win of the season, which would have matched last year’s total. Instead they sit at 19-14-2 and are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games.

All signs pointed to a Giants win over the Cougars, who improved to 14-18-3-2 with the win.

The Giants were coming off an inspired 2-1 road win over the Everett Silvertips on Friday; yes, this same Silvertips squad that blitzed the G-Men two days earlier at the LEC.

A huge and enthusiastic crowd, including two rows of dudes adorned in red body paint, filled the arena.

But the Giants didn’t make it easy on themselves. After all, when you hemorrhage four unanswered goals in the first seven minutes of the game, it’s usually impossible to come back.

By the 6:46 mark it was four-zip for the visitors on goals from captain, Langley product, and top defenceman Cholowski (1:50 after the opening puck drop), Max Krysk (59 seconds later), Josh Curtis (at the 5:44 mark), and finally, Kody McDonald (with his 16th of the campaign 6:46 in).

The Giants stormed back on goals to narrow the deficit to 4-2 before the first intermission on goals from James Malm and Ty Ronning.

After McDonald scored his second of the night 3:39 into the second period to give the Cougars at three-goal lead again, it was all Giants, or more specificially, Ronning.

Ronning cashed in a brilliant cross-ice pass from Alex Kannok Leipert at the 12:36 mark, and then completed his hat trick with his 34th of the season on a nifty tip-in of a Dylan Plouffe shot with 2:45 to play in the middle frame.

And 3:10 into the third period, the Giants tied the game at 5-5 when Bowen Byram’s wrist shot sifted through Cougars goaltender Isaiah DiLaura’s blocker, as the puck trickled over the goal-line.

By this time, the Giants were feeling it, and took their first lead of the game 6:45 into the third period as Brayden Watts’ pretty cross-ice feed found the stick of a streaking Jared Dmytriw, who tipped the puck past DiLaura right in front of the net.

The Giants will rematch with the Cougars on New Year’s Day (Jan. 1) at the LEC. Game time is 2 p.m.

McKee said the Giants players have to learn from losses like this.

“That’s our jobs as coaches is to show them the situations that they could have done differently and just understanding how they have to manage pucks in certain situations,” McKee said.

Despite Ronning’s and McDonald’s matching hat tricks, Cholowski was the best player on the ice. The smooth-skating defenceman and Detroit Red Wings defenceman dominated and ended up with two goals and two assists on the night.

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

 

As he enters the Prince George Cougars zone, Vancouver Giants captain Tyler Benson weighs his options with the puck. The Giants hosted the Cougars in WHL action Saturday at the Langley Events Centre. Troy Landreville Black Press

As he enters the Prince George Cougars zone, Vancouver Giants captain Tyler Benson weighs his options with the puck. The Giants hosted the Cougars in WHL action Saturday at the Langley Events Centre. Troy Landreville Black Press

VIDEO: Prince George Cougars edge Vancouver Giants 7-6 in OT in wild affair

Vancouver Giants centre James Malm crowded the Prince George Cougars crease as Malm and the G-Men looked to end 2017 with a victory at the Langley Events Centre on Saturday. Troy Landreville Black Press

Vancouver Giants centre James Malm crowded the Prince George Cougars crease as Malm and the G-Men looked to end 2017 with a victory at the Langley Events Centre on Saturday. Troy Landreville Black Press

Prince George Cougars defenceman Dennis Cholowski checksVancouver Giants left winger Owen Hardy in front of the Cougars goal during Saturday’s WHL match-up at the Langley Events Centre. Troy Landreville Black Press

Prince George Cougars defenceman Dennis Cholowski checksVancouver Giants left winger Owen Hardy in front of the Cougars goal during Saturday’s WHL match-up at the Langley Events Centre. Troy Landreville Black Press

Vancouver Giants poke away at the puck as Isaiah DiLaura looks to cover it in WHL action at the Langley Events Centre on Saturday. Troy Landreville Black Press

Vancouver Giants poke away at the puck as Isaiah DiLaura looks to cover it in WHL action at the Langley Events Centre on Saturday. Troy Landreville Black Press

Boisterous Vancouver Giants fans came to Saturday’s Western Hockey League game between the Giants and Prince George Cougars at the Langley Events Centre dressed for the occasion. Troy Landreville Black Press

Boisterous Vancouver Giants fans came to Saturday’s Western Hockey League game between the Giants and Prince George Cougars at the Langley Events Centre dressed for the occasion. Troy Landreville Black Press

Boisterous Vancouver Giants fans came to Saturday’s Western Hockey League game between the Giants and Prince George Cougars at the Langley Events Centre dressed for the occasion. Troy Landreville Black Press

Boisterous Vancouver Giants fans came to Saturday’s Western Hockey League game between the Giants and Prince George Cougars at the Langley Events Centre dressed for the occasion. Troy Landreville Black Press

Just Posted

Tavisha Kochhar sews masks for her fundraising campaign, July 25, 2020. (Aziz Ladha photo)
PHOTOS: Call for Surrey COVID-19 submissions tops 300

Collection ‘highlights remarkable ingenuity, resilience, spirit’ during pandemic

White Rock RCMP conducted a point-in-time homelessness count on April 16 and 17, 2021. (White Rock RCMP photo)
Majority of White Rock’s homeless more connected to Surrey: RCMP report

Two-day count conducted in April located four unsheltered individuals; officers identify 24 overall

Fraser Health held a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Gurdwara Dukh Nivaran Sahib in Surrey, which would be in what the BCCDC refers to as the Panorama community, on Friday, May 7, 2021. Roughly 400 people pre-registered to get their vaccine the week before. (Photo: Lauren Collins
Surrey communities recording more COVID-19 cases also seeing lower vaccination rates

Those same communities were highlighted in the SPEAK survey, which highlighted disparities in the city

Twenty-nine staff members at Sunrise Poultry Processors Ltd. in Newton have tested positive for the virus, according to an information bulletin from Fraser Health Saturday (May 8). The health authority issued a 10-day closure order, effective May 7. (Image: Google Maps)
29 staff test positive for COVID-19 at Surrey poultry processing plant

Meantime, outbreak over at Surrey Memorial Hospital

The College of Massage Therapists of B.C. says Van (William) Dinh, a registered massage therapist in Surrey and Langley, has had his licence suspended while an inquiry committee panel investigates allegations of sexual misconduct. (Unsplash photo)
Surrey massage therapist suspended amid sexual misconduct investigation

CMTBC received complaint Van (William) Dinh allegedly exposed ‘sensitive areas of the patient’s body’

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

Vancouver Giants earned a 6-2 victory over the visiting Kelowna Rockets Friday night, May 7, in Kamloops (Allen Douglas/special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Vancouver Giants down Kelowna Rockets 6-2

Two short-handed goals for Langley-based team

Most Read