Stuffed animals litter the ice at the Langley Events Centre on Teddy Bear Toss night. The Vancouver Giants won their sixth game in a row, 2-0, over the Prince George Cougars on Dec. 17. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Giants ‘stuff’ Cougars

Vancouver blanks Cougars on Teddy Bear Toss night at Langley Events Centre

On a day when the first goal was the most important, it turns out it was the only one the Vancouver Giants needed.

Bowen Byram’s power-play goal at 11:31 of the third period not only triggered a barrage of stuffed animals, but it also turned out to be the game-winner as the Giants won a sixth consecutive game.

The Giants blanked the visiting Prince George Cougars 2-0 on Sunday at the Langley Events Centre, improving to 18-13-2-2. Vancouver — which has also won eight of their last nine games — heads into the week-long holiday break just three points back of both the Kelowna Rockets and Victoria Royals, who share the lead in the Western Hockey League’s B.C. Division with 43 points apiece.

Vancouver was playing its third game in as many days having beat the Royals 3-1 on Friday at the LEC and then winning the rematch 6-2 the next night in Victoria.

And for the first 51 minutes of Sunday’s game, neither team could find the back of the net.

But with Cole Moberg in the penalty box, Byram’s point shot beat Prince George’s Tavin Grant as the LEC — with its largest crowd of the season at 4,088 — erupted in excitement on Teddy Bear Toss night.

The stuffed animals will be collected and donated to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau.

“It was exciting, a full building tonight so it was pretty cool just to feel the energy in here,” Byram said.

Byram returned to the line-up this weekend after missing the previous six with injury.

And the smooth-skating defenceman had multiple chances to open the scoring, including one second-period rush where he cut to the net, but put the puck wide after deking the goaltender.

Byram finished with four shots on goal.

“I don’t know if I felt one coming, I didn’t really feel my best but I definitely had some good chances and in the end, I got a lucky bounce there,” he said. “I think it hit the goalie and went in.”

Matt Barberis and Ty Ronning drew the assists on the goal with Ronning icing the game with an empty-net goal with 60 seconds to play.

Giants head coach Jason McKee said fatigue was obvious for both teams, who were each playing their third game in less than 48 hours.

“It was one of those ones that wasn’t picture perfect but they found a way to win,” he said.

McKee didn’t feel his team was pressing, trying to get the Teddy Bear Toss goal, but he did notice a change in his team’s play once they took the lead.

“I wouldn’t say it was a sense of relief, but we just started playing our game in the last eight minutes there,” he said.

That included killing off a Prince George power play 24 seconds after they took the lead. It was one of four power play opportunities the Giants killed.

David Tendeck made 40 saves for his second shutout of the season. Both have come in the last four games as he improved his goals against average to 2.90 and his save percentage to .913. His save percentage is sixth in the entire WHL.

“The game is just slowing down for me and the boys are making it really easy on me too,” Tendeck said.

“Seeing the puck well and the team is doing a good job of clearing the screens and giving me easy shots.”

The game was a physical contest with a fight in the first minute and in the final two minutes. There was also a second period scrap as well as multiple misconducts in the second period.

“It was probably one of the top three most physical games of the year and our guys stood up together. That’s a good sign, it shows they care about one another and are moving with a pack mentality and that’s what we need to win hockey games,” McKee said.

The team is now off for the next eight days, returning to practice on Dec. 26 and getting back in game action on Dec. 27 when they host the Everett Silvertips at the LEC.



sports@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Vancouver GiantsWHL

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

 

Vancouver Giant fans (left to right) Adrienne Schneider, 7, Jakob Schneider, 10, Brayden Schulten, 10, and Carter Bradley, 10, at Teddy Bear Toss night. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Ty Ronning makes a basket for a fan to throw their stuffed animal during Teddy Bear Toss. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Vancouver Giants’ James Malm (left) and Jared Dmytriw. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Bowen Byram discusses his goal on Teddy Bear Toss night. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Memorial set for one of three found dead at Langley house fire

Father wants the community to know the “amazing” person who’s been lost

Langley Lodge’s deadly outbreak declared over

Fraser Health and long-term care home administrator confirm Friday declaration

Aldergrove moms orchestrate class photo for Kindergarten grads after COVID-19 school shutdown

Five year olds at Parkside Elementary got one final reunion to wrap up their school year cut short

Police arsenal deployed in Langley to avoid potentially violent situation

Mounties arrest armed Vancouver man after Tasering him on Willoughby side street

Langley Blaze back on the field but only for practices

New camera system allows families and colleges to watch ball players

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

Greater Vancouver home sales start to tick up, with prices holding steady

Residential sales last month reached 2,443, a 64.5 per cent jump from May

PHOTOS: South Surrey tractor project evokes ‘$1-million smile,’ helps connect neighbours

Retired Surrey firefighter Ron Henze began project for friend’s dad to fill time during pandemic

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

B.C.’s Indigenous rights law faces 2020 implementation deadline

Pipeline projects carry on as B.C. works on UN goals

Search continues for person seen floating in Coquihalla River in Hope

Rescuers halted the search Thursday night as darkness fell

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

Most Read