It’s been a strong season for the Vancouver Giants, with very few defeats, but Friday’s 4-1 defeat by the Chiefs in Spokane knocked them two point back of the Everetts for first place in the Western Conference standings.
Now, the G-Men are looking to make that up, at least in part, when continuing their road trip Saturday night with a matchup against the Tri-City Americans.
Friday night in Spokane left the Giants (45-15-2-2). They dropped the decision to the Spokane Chiefs who are only sitting at 36-20-2-5.
Jake McGrew was credited in large part for Spokane’s victory. He struck twice for the Chiefs.
Meanwhile goaltender Bailey Brkin turned aside 37 Giants shots to help the Chiefs (who stand 36-20-2-5) to their first victory against the Giants in four tries.
Alex Kannok Leipert responded with the lone goal for the Giants during the second period, on a power play.
Goalie Trent Miner stopped 20 Spokane shots.
This marked just the third regulation loss for the Giants in a span of 27 games.
Chiefs take tonight's game 4-1. Two goals from Jake McGrew and 35 saves from Bailey Brkin. The Giants got their tally from @AKannok and 20 saves from @trent_miner. Just the third regulation loss for the Giants since January 6th. Tri-City up next tomorrow night at 7:05 PM.
— xy – Vancouver Giants (@WHLGiants) March 9, 2019
SPO – Filip Kral (8) opened the scoring for Spokane at the 7:56 mark of the first when he converted off a give-and-go rush with Luke Toporowski.
SPO – Jake McGrew extended Spokane’s lead to 2-0 when his shot from the right-wing snuck past Trent Miner for his 26th and his first of two on the night.
SPO – With 21 seconds remaining in the period, Jaret Anderson-Dolan notched his 16th of the season on a power play. Ty Smith and Eli Zummack assisted on the play.
Shots: 12-10 Spokane
VAN – Late in the second period Alex Kannok Leipert (4) got the Giants on the board when his shot from the left-wing circle switched directions and snuck past Bailey Brkin.
SPO – 64 seconds later the Chiefs grabbed their final goal of the night when Jake McGrew (27) tapped home a Riley Woods feed off an odd-man rush at 18:56.
Shots: 16-7 Vancouver
Shots: 12-5 Vancouver
BY THE NUMBERS
• Final score: Spokane 4 – Vancouver 1
• Final shots: 38-24 Vancouver
• Bailey Brkin: 37/38 saves for Spokane (24-11-1-2)
• Trent Miner: 20/24 saves for Vancouver (23-5-1-1)
• Spokane: 2/2 on the power play.
• Vancouver: 1/5 on the power play.
• 3 Stars: 1) Jake McGrew (SPO – 2G); 2) Bailey Brkin (SPO – 37 Saves); 3) Luke Toporowski (SPO – 1A).
• All five goals scored in Friday night’s game were scored by NHL drafted players: Filip Kral (Toronto), Jake McGrew (San Jose), Jaret Anderson-Dolan (LA Kings), and Alex Kannok Leipert (Washington).
• The Giants have now scored a power play goal in seven straight games. During that span the power play has gone 10/27.
• Friday’s loss marked just the third regulation loss for the Giants since Jan. 26, and their first against Spokane this season.
• The Giants finish the season with a 3-1 record against the Chiefs.
• Forward Brayden Watts returned to the Giants lineup after missing the past 10 games with an upper-body injury.
As mentioned, Saturday’s game against the Tri-City Americans happens in Washington State. Then, following that game in Kennewick, the Giants get a few days off before returning back down across the border on Tuesday, March 12, for a game against the Seattle Thunderbirds.
Their next at home game is the Chevrolet Fan Appreciation Night happening Friday, March 15 at Langley Events Centre, against the Kelowna Rockets.
Then, for the last game of the regular season, the Giants take on Kelowna again the very next night (Saturday, March 16) in Kelowna.