Friday night at the Langley Events Centre the Vancouver Giants (2-1) dropped a 4-2 decision to the Portland Winterhawks (3-1). Rookie Tyson Kozak paced the Portland attack with two goals while St. Louis Blues prospect Joel Hofer turned aside 33 of the Giants 35 shots. Tristen Nielsen and Milos Roman responded with goals for the Giants while Bowen Byram added two assists.
POR – Clay Hanus opened the scoring at 5:09 on Portland’s first power play. Jake Gricius and Reece Newkirk assisted on his third marker of the young season.
VAN – 10 seconds later the Giants responded when Milos Roman’s shot from the right-wing circle snuck past Joel Hofer. Justin Lies was originally credited with the goal, but officials later changed it to Roman’s first of the season. Bowen Byram and Justin Sourdif earned assists.
POR – Back came the Winterhawks at 8:45. Tyson Kozak notched his first career WHL goal off a shot from the right-wing. Simon Knak had the lone assist.
Shots: 14-7 Vancouver
POR – Lane Gilliss extended Portland’s lead to 3-1 on a power play re-direct at 4:48. Simon Knak and Johnny Ludvig had assists.
POR – A minute and 53 seconds later the Winterhawks notched their final goal of the night when Tyson Kozak converted off a Cross Hanas rebound.
Shots: 15-7 Portland
VAN – 34 seconds into the third period, Tristen Nielsen moved the Giants back within two when he converted off his own rebound. Dylan Plouffe and Bowen Byram assisted on the power play goal.
Shots: 14-6 Vancouver
GIANTS SIDE NOTES
- With an assist on the first Giants goal, 2020 NHL Draft prospect Justin Sourdif has now recorded points in each of the first three games.
- Bowen Byram led all skaters with nine shots on goal.
- The Giants have scored at least one power play in each of their first three games.
- Forward Lukas Svejkovsky left the game late in the second period and did not return to the game. His status for the remainder of the weekend is unknown.
- Prior to puck drop, the Vancouver Giants raised their 2019 BC Division Championship and Western Conference Championship banners to the rafters.