Ryan Kubic: 1st Dub Win, 1st Dub Shutout
Giants Blank Winterhawks
Vancouver 2 Portland 0
It was Ryan Kubic’s first WHL win and his first WHL shutout. I chose a good game to break the seal on my WHL-Live away game broadcast included as part of my season ticket package. It was also the first away game I have watched the Giants play and they looked a lot better than they have looked at home. There was forecheck and backcheck, hustle and some intensity. Maybe if they played that way at home for the full sixty we might get a few entertaining tilts. There was also hitting, which is something they have not done consistently at home either. It was also good seeing Benson involved at both ends of the ice and on the scoresheet. Ty Ronning and Trevor Cox had some hustle tonight as well.
The teams played to a scoreless draw after one. Chase Lang found the back of the net in the second; off of a nice Tyler Benson feed. The Winterhawks had some good pushback later in the middle frame, but Kubic held them off the scoresheet. A puck got past the Giants netminder, but it was deemed kicked-in (and appeared so on the replay I saw) and waived off after a review. Benson found the back of the net off of a big Alec Baer shot rebounding off of the Portland goalie’s pad and out to the open side. Benson made no mistake burying the puck and giving his team a bit of insurance. Matt Barberis had the other assist. Kubic held on for the shutout, despite a late PP chance for the Winterhawks. So now he knows what he needs to do to get his team the win, just not let in any goals. Pretty simple, eh? I am of course being facetious, but it would be nice to see the young ‘tender find some confidence out of this game and possibly feel more comfortable stealing some games as the season moves on.
No fisticuffs in this one and few penalty calls as it felt like the refs were letting them play. There was good effort up and down the line-up and the Gs were solid in their own end of the ice, keeping shots to the outside for the majority of the game. When there were holes, Kubic was solid. The Portland squad did have a couple of their better players out with injury so that helped the Gs a bit, but really it was a good complete effort, with a bit of luck and a strong work ethic. Not bad for game three in four nights.
The Giants out-shot Portland 38-34. Both squads went 0 for 3 on the PP. Good to finally get a win that was not a desperate come from behind, or one requiring huge effort over a short period. The Gs played the whole game for one of the first times since the beginning of the season, when they played a similarly intense game out of the gate for a couple of weeks. I suspect this is just one of those games and that bad habits will creep back in, but it should be something to build on, at the very least. I liked seeing effort from every line as well. Adin Hill for Portland had to be really sharp a few times, or this could have been a bigger win for the boys. Let’s hope they are tired of losing and possibly ready to turn their game around before the break. My only concern is that if they go on a positive run, the Giants braintrust will delude themselves into believing that the Giants are a contender.
The Giants have a few days off before their home game on Wednesday versus the Medicine Hat Tigers. The puck drops at the Coliseum at 7pm PST.
- Ryan Kubic
- Tyler Benson
- Caleb Jones (I would have chosen Adin Hill)