The good news was the power-play snapped a lengthy drought, as Tristen Nielsen scored with the man advantage late in the first period. But the bad news was that was the Vancouver Giants only goal as they fell 2-1 to the Spokane Chiefs.
The Giants were hosting the Chiefs on Friday night (Dec. 6) at Langley Events Centre with Vancouver dropping a third-consecutive game to see their record fall to 13-13-1-1 on the Western Hockey League season.
In addition to this being the team’s third straight defeat, it was also the third consecutive game where they scored just a single goal.
“Our guys played really hard. We are just having a tough time scoring right now,” summed up Giants head coach Michael Dyck, admitting his team played well and likely deserved a better fate.
“We are getting over 30 shots a game right now. I guess we could get more traffic. We are working so hard to recover pucks by the time they get to the net we are not at the net in time. It would be nice to get a bounce here.”
And that has been a common theme for the hockey club: they are out-shooting and out-chancing their opponent but just not out-scoring them.
In the team’s last three games, Vancouver had held a 109-63 advantage but they have been outscored 10-3 over those 180 minutes.
Another common theme is playing from behind as Spokane scored 82 seconds into Friday’s game on a goal from Eli Zummack and doubled the lead at 14:14 on a tally from Matt Leduc.
Nielsen would cut the lead in half with 15 seconds to play in the frame on a power play, the Giants first man-advantage goal in 40 opportunities, dating all the way back to Nov. 2.
The power play sits second last in the WHL, operating at just 11.2 per cent.
“Our power play is going to come, I truly believe that. We do so many good things, we have hit goal posts, we have hit crossbars, we are just having a hard time right now,” Dyck said.
“We need to figure out how to be ready for the start of games, but after that, I thought we played a pretty full 60-minute effort,” said Giants defenceman Bowen Byram.
“In times like this, you can’t get down on yourself, down on each other. The bounces are going to start going our way eventually, so we just have to keep at it.”
The Giants are back in action on Sunday when they host the Tri-City Americans, although the game will be played in Vancouver at Rogers Arena at 4 p.m. The game is also the team’s annual Teddy Bear Toss.