Thankfully for the Vancouver Giants, just two games remain head-to-head against the Victoria Royals as the Giants continue to have no answer for their B.C. Division rivals.
For the eighth time in 10 tries, the Royals triumphed at the expense of the Giants.
The latest setback came on Monday afternoon, Feb. 21, before a crowd of 3,430 on home ice at the Langley Events Centre, as the two Western Hockey League rivals clashed for the second time in four days with Victoria skating to a 3-0 victory.
Monday’s contest featured a scoreless first period before Victoria broke open the game in the middle stanza. Bailey Peach converted a four-on-three power play at the 6:36 mark before Caleb Willms and Riley Gannon added goals 64 seconds apart less than four minutes later to round out the scoring.
“We are not (playing) connected. At times our forwards and our ‘D’ were not playing in blocks of five and it is hard to generate momentum when you are not playing as a team,” said Vancouver coach Michael Dyck. “Last game, we had some great individual performances and today, we didn’t get the same kind of performances, certainly from the guys we needed it from.”
RECAP: The Vancouver Giants wrapped up their long weekend with a 3-0 home loss Monday against Victoria. These two teams meet again at the LEC on Friday.
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The Giants were hoping to build off a 4-3 overtime victory on Saturday night in Kamloops against the B.C. Division leading Blazers, a game which saw Vancouver rally from a 2-0 third-period deficit, the first time they had earned a win when trailing after 40 minutes. Vancouver had been 0-19-0-0 prior to Saturday’s comeback.
“That was a big thing the coaches wanted us to do and to not be able to do that, and to get some momentum and get some big points against a team that is trailing us right now, obviously it is really frustrating,” said defenceman Connor Horning.
“We were good in spurts but overall, we didn’t execute our game plan. Credit to Vic, they played a good game, but I think for us, we just didn’t do what we had to do to get the win,” Horning said.
Horning said the team needs a consistent effort from puck drop to final whistle, something that has too often eluded them of late.
The final shots on goal favoured Vancouver 35-27 but Royals goaltender Tyler Palmer denied the Giants at every turn, shutting the team out for the second time this season. In six games against Vancouver, Palmer has a save percentage of .961.
Up next for the Giants is a home-and-home series with the Royals as the teams play at Langley Events Centre on Friday, Feb. 25 (7:30 p.m.) before they head to the provincial capital to wrap up their 12-game regular season series on Saturday.
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