As the Vancouver Giants hockey team battled it out with the Chiefs in Spokane mid-week, Lucas Kam and some fellow Giants fans were cheering the team on back home at the Langley Events Centre (LEC).
It would have been nice if the Tuesday night’s game had gone the way the supporters wanted, but the Chiefs managed a 3-2 win after the Giants forced the game into sudden-death overtime.
But then Wednesday night, the G-Men gave their hometown fans what they were looking for. They won Game 4 of the series in overtime by the score of 4-3. That victory gave them a 3-1 series lead in the Western Conference finals.
On both nights, nearly 90 people followed the action from the LEC banquet hall. These were the first two viewing parties organized by the new Giants booster club.
Just two months old, the club was founded by Kam, a 22-year-old UBC student who got bit by the hockey bug when the Giants were still playing out of the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver.
Kam got hooked after then-Giants player Ty Ronning, a high school friend, encouraged him to come see a game in Vancouver.
That was in February of 2016.Since then, Kam has been a faithful and determined follower of the team, even though Ronning has moved on.
Declared season ticket holder of the year, this devoted fan has even been asked to sing the pre-game national anthem on home ice at the LEC.
Even when the team moved from Vancouver to Langley, Kam commuted to every home game.
“I’ve only missed one home game, and that was back [when they were still playing] at the coliseum,” he recounted.
Kam wanted to share his love of the game, which is why he and some fellow fans decided to recently launch the booster club. The idea hit during a trip to Victoria to watch the Giants play the Royals.
“The goal or vision is to help fans of the Giants and enhance their experience,” Kam said. He hopes to do that through events like the away-game parties at LEC.
The club is completely independent of the Giants, he noted. But the team has been “very supportive” of their efforts.
Sadly, Kam said, this may be his last season “as a full-time Giants fan,” since he has graduated from UBC with a BA in history, minoring in political science and hopes to join Royal Canadian Navy.
Getting out to see his team play in person might become a little difficult under those circumstances.
But, he’s hopeful the booster club will live on, and said more information is available online through their Facebook page “Vancouver Giants Booster Club.”
The first away-game party ended in disappointment for the club, with the Giants forcing the game into overtime Tuesday, only to have the Chiefs eke out a win when Jake McGrew scored at 8:51 of overtime and gave the Chiefs their first win of the series.
READ MORE: VIDEO: Vancouver Giants fall in overtime
But the G-Men turned that around on Wednesday night, when Dawson Holt pushed the puck into the net, past Spokane’s goalie Bailey Brkin, at 7:07 into overtime.
Giants are now 3-1 in the championship finals and set to return home tonight (Friday), with the series shifts back to the Langley Events Centre.
The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. on what could be the deciding game of this series for the Giants.
SIDEBAR: Long path to victory
■ WHL playoffs:
Currently in Round 3, with the Western Conference pitting the Vancouver Giants against the Spokane Chiefs at the same time the eastern conference series sees Edmonton play Prince Albert.
Giants won Round 2 of the series, the semifinals, against the Victoria Royals, after winning four games in a row. They took Round 1 of the series, the quarterfinals, 4 games to 2 against the Seattle Thunderbirds.
■ next up:
Western and Eastern conference champions play each other in Round 4.
■ and finally:
Winner of Round 4 is awarded a berth in the 2019 Memorial Cup to be held in Halifax, N.S., from May 17 to 26.
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