It takes three periods to win and unfortunately for the Vancouver Giants, they only showed up for two.
The end result was a 5-4 loss to the visiting Tri-City Americans on Sunday at the Langley Events Centre in Western Hockey League action.
The loss dropped Vancouver to 6-9-0-0 while Tri-City improved to 7-5-1-0.
The Giants had the better of the chances in both the first and third periods — they out-shot Tri-City 13-6 in the opening 20 and 17-5 in the final period — but could not build off their 2-1 overtime home-ice victory over the Swift Current Broncos the night before.
The Americans were playing their third game in as many days.
Radovan Bondra opened the scoring with his team-leading eighth, skating the puck out from behind the Tri-City net and roofing his shot over goaltender Beck Warm just 4:19 into the contest.
It was Vancouver’s fifth shot of the period and Tri-City had yet to test Ryan Kubic. But 2:16 later, Dmitry Osipov gave the puck away behind his own net and Parker AuCoin got three whacks at it before finally scoring.
Tyler Benson restored the lead 23 seconds into the second period, taking a feed from Thomas Foster and picking the top corner.
But another Vancouver turnover, this time at their own blue-line, resulted in a tie game as Carson Focht picked up the loose puck and his shot from the slot beat Kubic.
Parker Wotherspoon — with a point shot with about four bodies in front — and then Dylan Coghlan each tallied power-play goals 3:02 apart. Kyle Olson would make it 5-2 four minutes later as he was left alone in front and poked the puck past Kubic.
The goal would end the night of the CHL’s reigning goaltender of the week as Kubic exited with 14 saves on 19 shots.
Giants head coach Jason McKee said the whole team was at fault in that disastrous period.
“From the goaltender, to the defence, to the forwards … everyone was involved from what happened and how we let it get away,” he said.
A major problem was the team’s discipline as the Giants were short-handed seven times in the first two periods.
“We just continued to take too many penalties. We talk about it not only on a daily basis but it seems like almost an hourly basis and we still continue to take penalties,” he said.
“And they have one of the top power plays in the league, they can really move it around, and we put ourselves in tough spots and they made us pay for it.”
“When that happened, we came out of our structure and we had a lot of individual mistakes.”
“In the third, we started to play with some urgency, some emotion and for the most part played with some structure and created some opportunities for ourselves,” McKee said.
The Giants — who only had one man-advantage opportunity over the first 40 minutes — had three power-play chances in the third, capitalizing on one of their chances.
With Vancouver up a man and a delayed call coming against the Americans, James Malm poked home the loose puck with 8:41 to play to make it 5-3. And Johnny Wesley made things interesting three minutes later when his wrist shot from the face-off dot beat Warm to make it a one-goal game.
But that would be as close as the Giants would get, despite firing 17 shots on goal in the third and 40 for the game.
AuCoin, Olson and Coghlan each finished with a goal and an assist for the visitors while Warm made 36 saves.
AuCoin and Warm were the first and third stars, respectively.
The Giants’ Bondra, with a goal and two assists, was the second star.
Alec Baer and Foster each had two assists and David Tendeck, who took over for the Giants late in the second, stopped all nine shots he faced.
Vancouver is back in action when they play the Kamloops Blazers in a home-and-home series.
The teams play in Kamloops on Friday (Oct. 28) before they hit the ice at the LEC on Saturday night (Oct. 29) with a 7 p.m. puck drop.
Attendance at the game was 3,720 fans.