Everett Silvertips' Mario Mucka (left) and Vancouver Giants James Malm battle behind the goal during the first period of Everett's 7-3 victory on Friday night at the Langley Events Centre.

Giants can’t overcome first-period hole

'They outworked us' says Vancouver coach following 7-3 season opening loss to Everett

  • Sep. 23, 2016 12:00 p.m.

Gary Ahuja

Times Reporter

Trailing 4-0 less than 12 minutes in is a recipe for disaster.

And that is the position the Vancouver Giants found themselves in during their Western Hockey League season opener on Friday night at the Langley Events Centre against the visiting Everett Silvertips.

The Silvertips — aided by a pair of early power plays which they capitalized on — raced out to the 4-0 lead while the Giants had a single shot on goal in that time.

The end result was a 7-3 Everett victory.

“It really hurt us, put us behind the eight ball. They are a good hardworking team and play with lots of structure and we didn’t play with enough tonight,” said Giants head coach Jason McKee, who was making his WHL debut behind the bench.

“That was the difference in the game. They outworked us, they stuck to their plan a lot better than us.”

Several times in that opening 20 minutes, Vancouver had the puck but failed to clear their own zone.

“We lost a lot of battles down low and we didn’t execute our breakouts very well at all.

Not a lot went right for us in the first period,” McKee said.

By the time the opening period was done, Everett had five goals — the same amount of shots on goal the Giants generated.

Each team scored once in the second and third periods.

The game was played in front of 4,875 fans in the first WHL game in Langley.

But McKee did not want to use nerves of playing in front of their home crowd as an excuse.

“A lot of these guys are young guys but they played in the league last year. They are young but Everett has a young team too; I don’t want to use that as an excuse,” he said.

“We have to show up and we have to be ready to play and we simply weren’t.”

Dawson Holt scored twice for the Giants while Jack Flaman scored on a breakaway in the final minute.

Holt was named the game’s second star.

Everett was led by Devon Skoleski — the game’s first star — and Graham Millar, who each potted a pair, while Jake Christianson, Sean Richards and Bryce Kindropp had one apiece.

The Silvertips Lucas Skrumeda was the third star.

McKee did like the fact that his team battled until the end.

“We just didn’t play with enough detail in our game. We just had guys skating around in space and not with a purpose and you are not going to win at this level if you don’t have a purpose where you are moving,” he said.

“We didn’t move well as a five-man group in all three zones.”

The teams complete the home-and-home series on Saturday night at Everett’s Xfinity Arena.

And McKee said he will simplify things for the rematch.

“I think some guys were maybe thinking too much out there. We will simplify it and hopefully (the players) use their hockey instincts and that will pay some dividends.”

The Giants are missing six players who are at NHL training camps and only dressed 17 skaters instead of the usual 18, also lost defenceman Matt Barberis late in the second period.

There was no update on his condition after the game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

If it snows, move your car

Streets in Mission that have cars parked on them, won’t get plowed this winter

Man accused of shooting at border agents loses final bid to appeal extradition order

Nathan Hall was arrested in Abbotsford following cross-border manhunt in 2013

#MeToo at work: B.C. women share horrifyingly common sexual assaults

It happens to more people than you might think and impacts women inside and outside of the workplace

Abbotsford man charged with two child porn offences

Investigation against Jeremy Allen Willms, 42, began in April

Andy Sidhu appointed new chancellor at UFV

Third person to take on university role, first established in 2008

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Debt-to-household-income ratio rises in third quarter

Total household credit market debt grew to $2.11 trillion in the third quarter

B.C. Mountie told to resign after texting teenage sex assault victim

RCMP documents say Const. Brian Eden sent sexually inappropriate photos to 17-year-old girl

Family doctors should learn to treat addiction, not shun patients: scientist

B.C. Centre on Substance Use’s Dr. Evan Wood said efforts underway to change addiction medicine image

Update: Small fire near Maple Ridge tent city

Occurred outside camp Wednesday night

Four dog deaths investigated in Cranbrook

One vet suggests a parallel to these deaths and similar ones in 2016

Meningococcal disease outbreak declared in Okanagan

Five cases in last six months among 15- to 19-year-olds, including one in Vernon

Military life gives way to chance as author

Retired Chilliwack officer pens book about life in Afghanistan

Province rejects Ajax mine in Kamloops

KGHM Ajax had proposed a 1,700-hectare open-pit copper and gold mine, just southwest of Kamloops

Most Read