Giants Blank Tigers
Vancouver 6 Medicine Hat 0
I was working so I did not see this one live and only listened to bits of the game, but it feels like the boys got a confidence leap from their win in Portland. Ryan Kubic has his second win and his second shut out in as many games as well as in his burgeoning career in the Dub. It was a good effort with hard work and a bit of luck. Ty Ronning tallied his second hat-trick of the season (a natural hat trick at that), Trevor Cox was busy trying to set-up guys and succeeded more often than not in this one. The special teams scored on the PP and on the PK. Tyler Benson was also playing well in his set-up role. A dominant win on Shaw in front of 3300 odd fans. There was also evidence that the boys stood up for themselves and one another. That is always a good trend moving forward.
The Giants opened the scoring late in the first (with 34 seconds left in the period). Chase Lang scored his second as a Giant, burying a nice feed from Tyler Benson. In the second we had Dylan Plouffe scoring his first of the season with the lone assist going to Radovan Bondra. Not a common stat you see in the box score. Depth scoring. Check. Later in the middle frame Ty Ronning found the back of the net off of a great feed from Trevor Cox. Things got chippy in the third and the Giants made the Tigers pay. Ronning found twine on the PP, assisted by Cox and Benson. Later, Ronning chipped it in at the side of the net off of Matt Barberis and Brennan Menell. Cox salted away the game SH’d in the last minutes, when Chase Lang found him with a good outlet pass. Kubic held on for the shutout and the win, turning aside all 33 shots sent his way. The Giants needed this kind of a dominant performance and so did their fans. Let’s hope they can keep the momentum going on Friday and not get caught up in the all the Star Wars hoopla and forget about the game.
Can’t Tell The Players Without A Program: Bonner made a few moves. Acquiring Johnny Wesley from the Lethbridge Hurricanes for a bag of pucks (erm … 8th round pick). Signed ’99 born Owen Hardy to a standard contract. Hardy, was drafted by the Giants in the second round of the Bantam draft (42nd overall). Bonner also brought in free-agent 18 yr old Jack Flaman who was producing points with his Saskatchewan Junior club, but had one point in 34 games with the Winterhawks last season. The Giants also activated 19 yr old defenseman Carter Cochrane, who had 3 points in 9 games with the Americans last season and 1 point in 31 games and was a –8 with the Silvertips in the same season. Cochrane left this game with an undisclosed injury, but it appeared he injured his shoulder on a play and did not return.
Team Notes: Scott Bonner shuffled the deck and rolled the dice (mixing his metaphors along the way) acquiring and signing players that other teams in the Dub deemed unworthy of their attention. Not one in the bunch has shown solid success at this level, but Scott apparently believes giving them a second chance with a broken franchise is the way to go. A team always gets a lift from new blood entering the dressing room, but a few games down the road it will probably even out. The Tigers came into this game with a similar record to ours, so before anyone (esp the Giants brass behind the scenes) starts planning a Memorial Cup parade route they should look at what they really have. We did not give up much of anything to acquire the bodies, but then we also did not get much to write home about. This, in my mind, was a desperate act to do something, anything, as opposed to actually improving the team. For this game, however, it worked out. New energy. Kubic still riding the crest of the Portland game and on a roll and then a dash of change for change sakes just to shake things up a bit. I do like that we acquired some younger players as well as some passed over veterans. Who knows? Maybe Bonner will luck out with one or two of the new guys, but looking at the players past stats I feel we are just adding more middling chaff to a depleted and struggling line-up.
The Giants were out-shot 33-28. The hometown boys went 2 for 6 on the PP and scored a late short-handed goal to rub salt in the wound. The Tigers were held to 0 for 3. A hell of a game against a middling opponent, but not exactly what I would call reality. The Giants still need to show they have the ability to bounce back after being down and are able to hold onto a lead without their goalie putting up goose-eggs, but it is a good start and a decent reward for the fans who have had to watch some pretty bad hockey this season.
My fear if we get on a roll is that the same delusion will persist, that has been the bane of this team for several years now; the fantasy that we are anything but middling at best. I’d say we should be sellers, but other than Benson we really don’t have huge assets to deal. We do have a couple of 20s we should consider moving if we can get better assets from a team looking for an expensive rental player, but other than that we should be looking to shore up our depth and be willing to give our young guys every chance to grow and develop. That includes, most importantly in my mind, between the pipes. Kubic needs to continue to get more than just regular starts when Wapple returns and to be honest I would deal Wapple for a younger back-up ‘tender, go with Ryan and let the chips fall where they may. We will be a better team next year if we think more about progress than W’s. Sadly that just isn’t the way this ownership/management thinks.
The Giants are doing a Star Wars night on Friday December 4th, wearing sweaters than are supposed to look like stormtroopers, but look nothing like them (it’s like a droid, stormtrooper, vader conceptual mishmash by someone who has never seen the movies). It’s a big promo that will probably get more bums into seats, but is in my mind truly bogus in every way. The uniform design is kind of laughable (see above) and the concept reeks of desperation. The execution will undoubtedly be sub-par – as it often is – and it is past time for the team to put their energy where it belongs and to stop with the marketing gimics. The puck drops on Friday at 7:30pm PST. The Farce Awakens.
- Ty Ronning
- Trevor Cox
- Ryan Kubic