While the final 40 minutes of the hockey game saw the Vancouver Giants out-shoot and out-chance the Everett Silvertips, the result was still a 2-1 defeat for the struggling hockey club.
Mission’s own Gage Goncalves tipped home a point shot on a third-period power play as the visiting Silvertips edged the Giants in Western Hockey League action on Thursday night at Langley Events Centre.
Twenty-four seconds after a questionable delay of game penalty call on goaltender David Tendeck – he appeared to bump with an Everett player and lose his balance trying to get to the front of the goal, knocking the net off its moorings while the Silvertips had possession – Goncalves tipped a point shot from Wyatt Wylie to break the 1-1 tie.
It was one of just two Silvertips shots in the period while the Giants fired 14 on goal. Countless other attempts were either off target, blocked, or deflected by an effective Everett defence which did a masterful job of keeping the Vancouver shooters at bay. And for those shots which did make it through, goaltender Dustin Wolf ensured there was no rebound for the Giants.
The loss leaves Vancouver at 19-20-2-2 and with just a pair of wins in nine January games (2-5-1-1) as they currently hold down the top wild-card spot for the post-season. Everett improved to 30-11-3-1.
The Giants opened the scoring 5:57 into the contest when captain Alex Kannok Leipert drove to the net and his centring pass deflected off a Silvertips stick and up and over Wolf. The lead stood for nearly six minutes when off a face-off victory, Goncalves swept a rebound past Tendeck.
“The first period, even though we came out 1-1, what it did was give them energy,” said Vancouver head coach Michael Dyck, referring to the fact his team was outshot 22-6 in those 20 minutes against an opponent which played the night before in Spokane. “In order to beat a team like that, we need 60 minutes, we need to play like we did in the third.”
Everett wound up with a 31-28 advantage in the shots on goal, but the Silvertips were held to nine shots over the final 40 minutes while Vancouver had 22.
Thursday’s contest was also the second straight game the Giants managed just one power-play opportunity while their opponent enjoyed three chances. For the season, Vancouver has had 35 less man-advantage opportunities than their opponents, which is the third highest among the 22 WHL teams.
Up next for the Giants is a huge home-and-home series with the Kelowna Rockets with the teams playing at Langley Events Centre on Saturday (7 p.m.) and then in Kelowna the following afternoon.
The Rockets have a three-point lead over Vancouver for third place in the B.C. division although the Giants do have one game in hand. Vancouver is also 3-0-0-1 in four games against Kelowna.
G-Men drop a tight one Thursday night.
📸: Rob Wilton pic.twitter.com/LnsjZXJHZW
— Vancouver Giants (@WHLGiants) January 24, 2020
VAN – Giants captain Alex Kannok Leipert put the Giants up 1-0 at 5:57 of the first. Kannok Leipert beat an Everett defender wide down the right-wing, cut to the right of the net and snuck a shot past the right shoulder of Dustin Wolf for his third goal of the season. Justin Lies and Jacob Gendron both assisted.
EVT – Gage Goncalves (25) notched his first of two on the night off a Ty Kolle rebound at 11:56, which evened the score at 1-1.
Shots: 22-6 for Everett
Shots: 8-7 Vancouver
EVT – At 1:44 of the final period, Gage Goncalves deflected home a Jake Christensen point-shot on a power play to stake the Silvertips to a 2-1 lead, that they’d preserve for the remainder of the game, despite being badly outshot in the final period.
Shots: 14-2 Vancouver
BY THE NUMBERS
• Final score: Everett 2 – Vancouver 1
• Final shots: 31 – 28 Everett
• David Tendeck: 29/31 saves for Vancouver (11-13-1-1)
• Dustin Wolf: 27/28 saves for Everett (21-8-2-0)
• Vancouver power play: 0/2
• Everett power play: 1/3
• 3 Stars: Gage Goncalves (EVT – 2G); Dustin Wolf (EVT – 27 Saves); and David Tendeck (VAN – 29 Saves)
• Giants record in one-goal games now sits at 5-6-2-2
• Thursday’s loss marked just the fourth time this season the G-Men have lost when scoring the first goal
• When scoring the first goal of the game the Giants record now sits at 14-4-0-1
• Captain Alex Kannok Leipert has posted one goal and four assists for five points in his past five games