Lethbridge, AB – Tyler Benson completed a hat-trick by scoring the overtime winner as the Vancouver Giants skated to a 4-3 win over the Lethbridge Hurricanes at the Enmax Centre on Friday night. The win was Vancouver’s third in a row. Brendan Semchuk scored the other Giants goal.
Jesse Zaharichuk opened the scoring for the Hurricanes at 11:42 of the first period, beating Giants goalie Ryan Kubic from in tight after a pretty passing play that also involved Giorgio Estephan and Brayden Burke. Benson tallied his first of the night to tie the game less than two minutes later, scoring on a 2-on-0 with Thomas Foster after Ty Ronning forced a turnover inside the Lethbridge blue line. Ryley Lindgren scored a power play goal to put the home team ahead again before the end of the opening frame.
Benson evened the score again with his second of the night, less than a minute into the second period, when he fired a hard shot past Hurricanes goalie Ryan Gilchrist from the left circle off the rush. Burke put the Hurricanes on top again with an unassisted marker in the later stages of the stanza.
Semchuk pulled the Giants back onto level terms in the third period when he found the net on the man advantage, shovelling the rebound of a Dylan Plouffe point shot into the back of the net. The Giants were unable to find a winning goal in regulation time, but Burke took a penalty for Lethbridge in the late stages of the third period, and the Giants had time left on the power play to start overtime.
Benson ended the game on that man advantage with a one-timer from the right circle in the first minute of OT.
Kubic made 25 saves for his third consecutive victory in the Giants’ crease. Vancouver out shot Lethbridge 31-28 and went 2-for-4 on the power play.
15-year-old defenceman Bowen Byram made his WHL debut for Vancouver. He was drafted third overall in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft.
The Giants conclude their road trip on Saturday night against the Medicine Hat Tigers at the Canalta Centre. The puck is set to drop at 6:30pm.
Vancouver’s next home game is on Wednesday, October 19th, when the G-Men welcome the Saskatoon Blades to the LEC.