Vancouver Giants Weekend Preview

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Dan Elliott

The Vancouver Giants continue their 8 game home stand Friday and Saturday night at the Pacific Coliseum. On Friday the Giants welcome the top team in the WHL and the #1 ranked team in the CHL to town, the Tri-City Americans. Then on Saturday, the Kelowna Rockets pay a visit. It will be the 5th meeting of the season between the Giants and Rockets.

The Tri-City Americans come in on a losing note, having fallen to the Kamloops Blazers 3-2 Wednesday night. The loss snapped the Americans franchise record 13 game winning streak. Prior to being beat Wednesdy night, they hadn’t loss since November 30. Tri-City is 32-8-0-0 on the year and sit in 1st place in the entire WHL. They are the top defensive team in the league, having allowed just 91 goals in 40 games this year and they boast the top penalty kill, working at 85.5% efficiency. In comparison they have 161 goals for and are ranked 5th on the power play at 24.3%. The Americans are led by their impressive group of 20 year olds; Adam Hughesman, Brendan Shinnimin, and Mason Wilgosh. Hughesman is 5th in the league in scoring with 26 goals, 40 assists, and 66 points. Shinnimin is 8th in the league with 62 points and Patrick Holland is 9th in the league with 57 points. Goaltender Ty Rimmer, who they picked up from Prince George in the off-season, is tops in the league in goals against average, 1.90, save percentage, .936, and shutouts with 5, while defenceman Zachary Yuen leads the league with a +32.

Vancouver has had its struggles vs. the Americans. Tri-City has knocked the Giants out of the playoffs the last 2 years. The Giants have just 3 wins in their last 18 meetings (regular season and playoffs) over the last 2 seasons. Friday is the second of four meetings this year between the Giants and Americans. Tri-City shutout the Giants 5-0 back on October 15 at the Toyota Center in Kennewick, Washington.

Friday is also ‘Girls Night Out’ at the Pacific Coliseum. There is a special ticket package directed at women in particular. It is also ‘Viva Las Vegas Night’ presented by Alaska Airlines, Prime Travel, and Fun Sun Vacations. One lucky fan will win a trip for 2 to Las Vegas, which includes a 3 night stay at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino. For all ticket information go to VancouverGiants.com.

The Kelowna Rockets come calling Saturday night for game 5 of their 6 game road trip. They are in Portland on Friday night. The Rockets currently sit in third place in the BC Division and 6th in the Western Conference with a record of 17-20-2-3. Shane McColgan is their leading scorer with 11 goals, 32 assists, and 43 points in 41 games. The Giants are 2-2-0-0 vs. the Rockets this season, having won the last 2 games meetings. These two teams haven’t met since November 12 when the Giants won 3-2 in overtime on a Marek Tvrdon goal.

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