Giants No. 41 Kannok Leipert tries to get around a Cougar Tuesday night (Dec. 17) at the LEC. (Rik Fedyck/Vancouver Giants)

Giants No. 41 Kannok Leipert tries to get around a Cougar Tuesday night (Dec. 17) at the LEC. (Rik Fedyck/Vancouver Giants)

Vancouver Giants downed 3-0 by last-place Cougars

‘We had too many passengers tonight’ coach says

Too many passengers: that was the verdict from Vancouver Giants head coach Michael Dyck following a disappointing – and somewhat surprising – 3-0 loss to the last-place Prince George Cougars on Tuesday night at Langley Events Centre.

“We had too many passengers tonight, too many guys who were thinking about going home (for the holidays) and you are not going to beat anybody with passengers,” he said. “We were well prepared going in tonight (but) we found a way to lose.”

The victory was just the eighth of the season for the Cougars (8-20-1-3) who sit last in the Western Hockey League’s Western Conference, but two of those wins have come at the expense of the Giants (14-15-1-1).

Another troubling aspect of the loss was that while Vancouver had lost their previous game as well (a 3-2 setback on the road on Saturday night in Everett) they at least played much better against the top team in the Western Conference.

“How do you go from one night where you hold Everett to 20 shots in their own building and then you give up 32 at home?” Dyck questioned.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Giants edged out by Everett

In Tuesday’s game, it seemed the teams would head to the second intermission locked in a scoreless tie but the Giants could not clear the zone on a late power play and the puck made its way to Rhett Rhinehart with the defenceman blasting home a one-timer with just 1.6 seconds on the clock.

Josh Maser doubled the lead at 11:33 of the third period redirecting a pass from in front of goaltender Trent Miner with Prince George enjoying a two-man advantage.

Maser completed the scoring with 2:08 to play into the empty net as Vancouver was again short-handed but had pulled the goaltender so it was at least five-on-five as they desperately tried to get on the board.

Each team had 32 shots on goal with Prince George’s Taylor Gauthier continued his stellar play of late, earning his first shutout of the season. He has also stopped 96 of the past 100 shots over the previous three games.

Miner kept the Giants in the game, earning third star honours with his 29-save effort.

But as has been the case too often this season, Vancouver was on the wrong side of the special teams battle.

“We addressed our discipline against this team – we are averaging six penalties every time we play these guys – and we lived up to our average tonight and that was the difference,” Dyck said about the Cougars cashing in on three of their six opportunities while Vancouver was blanked on both their chances.

READ MORE: Giants make big trade

For the season, the Giants are converting just 11.4 per cent of their chances, which is second worst in the WHL. The league average is 20.9 per cent. A few more goals courtesy of their beleaguered special teams could make a huge difference for the Giants who have scored just three power play goals in their past 14 games.

And the formula to fix that is straightforward, the coach said.

“If they would follow the plan that is set in front of them, and again, it’s not rocket science, it’s a matter of getting more pucks to the net, more people to the net,” Dyck explained. “We have a plan; we just don’t have enough guys on the same page.”

The Giants have one more game before the holiday break as they are right back in action with a trip to Kelowna on Wednesday (December 18) against a Rockets team which has gone 7-2-0-1 in their past 10 games and sit nine points ahead of Vancouver in the standings.

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

 

Goaltender Trent Miner made 29 saves Tuesday night (Dec. 17) at the LEC for the Vancouver Giants (14-15-1-1) as the team dropped a 3-0 decision to the Prince George Cougars (8-20-1-3). (Rik Fedyck/Vancouver Giants)

Goaltender Trent Miner made 29 saves Tuesday night (Dec. 17) at the LEC for the Vancouver Giants (14-15-1-1) as the team dropped a 3-0 decision to the Prince George Cougars (8-20-1-3). (Rik Fedyck/Vancouver Giants)

Tuesday night (Dec. 17) at the LEC the Vancouver Giants (14-15-1-1) dropped a 3-0 decision to the Prince George Cougars (8-20-1-3). (Rik Fedyck/Vancouver Giants)

Tuesday night (Dec. 17) at the LEC the Vancouver Giants (14-15-1-1) dropped a 3-0 decision to the Prince George Cougars (8-20-1-3). (Rik Fedyck/Vancouver Giants)

Justin Sourdif tangled with a Cougar Tuesday night (Dec. 17) at the LEC as the Vancouver Giants dropped a 3-0 decision to the Prince George Cougars. (Rik Fedyck/Vancouver Giants)

Justin Sourdif tangled with a Cougar Tuesday night (Dec. 17) at the LEC as the Vancouver Giants dropped a 3-0 decision to the Prince George Cougars. (Rik Fedyck/Vancouver Giants)

Just Posted

The emergency department at Peace Arch Hospital in White Rock, B.C., in July 2020. (Black Press Media)
Peace Arch Hospital Foundation reaches $12 million goal

New operating suites to open this fall

The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police “E” Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on April 13, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Surrey RCMP asking for dash-cam video of ‘suspicious incident’

Incident involves a newer model Toyota Rav 4 SUV

Surrey RCMP are investigating a “serious” collision near Cloverdale Saturday evening. (Curtis Kreklau photo)
Surrey RCMP investigating ‘serious’ collision in Cloverdale

Witness says vehicle collided with utility pole at approximately 9:30 p.m.

An animated Gordie Hogg introduces his 'Community Connections' videos. (YouTube screenshot)
Community Connections: Gordie Hogg speaks with Denise Stevenson

Former mayor, MP began posting conversations on YouTube in June

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

The Kimber family of Boston Bar lost their home in a fire. Blaine Kimber’s daughter created a fundraiser to help rebuild the home with the goal of $100,000. (Screenshot/GoFundMe)
Fundraiser created for Boston Bar family that lost everything in weekend fire

Witnesses say the Kimber family escaped the fire without injury, but their home is a total loss

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 Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Most Read