Hitmen Shutout Giants, 2-0

86

Dan Elliott

The Vancouver Giants fired 32 shots on net, but were unable to beat Chris Driedger or the post, falling 2-0 to the Calgary Hitmen Friday night at the Saddledome in Calgary. Adam Morrison made his return to the line up, stopping 17 of 18 shots he faced.

A tight checking affair, the Giants had some chances early on in the first period, including a shot from Brendan Gallagher that rang off the post. The Hitmen would open the scoring during 4-on-4 action, as Collin Bowman forced a turnover at centre then went the other way, wristing a shot past Morrison to make it 1-0 Hitmen. The Giants had a 5-on-3 for 1:19 late in the period, but were unable to capitalize. Calgary led 1-0 after 20 minutes despite being outshot 12-5.

The Giants got an early power play in the second period and a number of chances, but once again Chris Driedger was up to the task. 5 minutes into the second period, the Giants had outshot Calgary 10-0. Vancouver’s penalty kill was outstanding on the night, killing off a 5-on-3 for two minutes midway through the second period. In the frame, Matt Bellerive took a hard hit from Hitmen defenceman Brock Sutherland, was slow to get up and would not return to the game. The Giants still trailed 1-0 through 40 minutes.

The opportunities for the Giants were few and far between in the third period. Taylor Makin and Alex Kuvaev both had chances in tight, but just couldn’t find the back of the net. Calgary would add an empty netter late in the game to seal the deal, making it a 2-0 final. Driedger picked up his 2nd shutout of the season making 32 saves. The Giants finished 0-for-6 on the power play, but were a perfect 7-for-7 on the penalty kill.

The Giants will now wrap up their 3 game road trip in Alberta Saturday night in Edmonton vs. the top team in the Eastern Conference. Puck drop is at 5:30 pm PST. The pregame show begins at 6:00 pm PST on AM 650.

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