Fans packed the stands at Langley Events Centre on Friday night, Nov. 25, to watch the Vancouver Giants host the Regina Pats.
A sellout crowd of 5,276 watched Pats captain Connor Bedard, a rising star and top NHL prospect, lead his team to a 3-0 victory.
Former Giants netminder Drew Sim stole the show with an outstanding 47-save shutout in his return to Vancouver.
Bedard, 17, is the youngest Pats captain ever. As the hottest name in 2023 NHL Draft conversations, expected to go first overall, he has been generating sellout crowds at almost every game he plays.
In Langley, fans were willing to pay close to $200 on the StubHub ticket re-sale market.
Giants senior vice-president Dale Saip, said the demand to see Bedard was unlike anything he’d ever seen for a Western Hockey League regular season game.
“It’s really unprecedented for a regular season game,” Saip said. “It’s quite something. I’ve been in this business for a long time and in western Canada we never had a [Connor] McDavid or a Sidney] Crosby come to town.”
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In the first period, on a power play, Borya Valis opened the scoring for the Pats 12:47 into the opening frame a breakaway assisted by Stanislav Svozil, and Alexander Suzdalev.
Tanner Howe added to the Regina lead with a goal of his own 3:57 into the second, with Valis and Bedard assisting.
In the third, Sam Oremba banked in a shot from below the goal line with 11:04 remaining to conclude the scoring for the night. Tye Spencer, and Tanner Brown had the assist.
Final Score: Regina 3, Vancouver 0.
Giants’ Zack Ostapchuk was named second star of the game.
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Fans’ next chance to see Connor Bedard will be at the Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on Jan. 25 at LEC.
Next, Giants host the Portland Winterhawks at 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 27.
Prior to the Regina match-up, on Wednesday, Nov. 23, Giants were winners in Spokane.
Giants and Chiefs traded goals all night, but Vancouver never trailed and managed to come out ahead 6-4 with a couple of power play goals in the third period.
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