The Vancouver Giants From A Fan's Perspective

Silvertips Squelch Shutout Streak

Tips Topple Giants

Vancouver 1 Everett 3

Saw most of this on my live feed and I have to say that I forgot how much I hate watching Constantine hockey.  I also have to say I am shocked that Tips are one of the least penalized teams in the league as the sheer number of obstruction-style pick plays, impromptu roughing as well as slashing that wasn’t called caused lots of head shaking.  I personally felt the Tips got away with a ton of the same kinds of plays that have been called as infractions for a few years now to avoid this kind of obstructive interference hockey.  Anyway, the refs are not the reason we lost this game, but I find it interesting that some teams seem to be able to fly below the officials’ radar, while other teams are being pointedly targeted.

Earlier this season the Giants were getting the benefit of the doubt, official-wise.  I’m not sure if they were playing more responsibly or that they were just not in the zebra cross-hairs, but it was noticeable.  As I have said before (actually more along the lines of beating the proverbial horse that has already shuffled off its mortal coil), game management and the fallacy that this is the way to deal out punishment cuts the metaphorical, and at times literal, balls off of the game.  This particular game under the guise of “letting them play” allowed too many play turning infractions to occur and failed to identify the culprits in multiple situations.  I guess I am just getting tired of the inconsistency, team to team and game to game from a league and officiating perspective.  Okay moving on.

Ryan Kubic didn’t get a lot of help from his boys at maintaining his streak as two of the three goals against started with poor turnovers and a screened goalie.  The shutout breaker had Ben Thomas, laying on his belly punch the puck out to the slot right onto the stick of a Tip.  He then stood up, attempted to block the shot, missed and hampered his goalie’s ability to make the save.  The second goal against came off of a point shot through traffic, where Kubic had little chance to see the puck before it was behind him.  The Giants got one of those back on the PP, early in the third, but finally coughed up a late one when they were not able to clear a rebound from the front of the net.  The Tips held on for the win.

The Silvertips scored one goal in each period.  Kubic’s shutout streak was ended just north of 205 minutes, which I believe gives him the franchise record.  Tips scored at 9:57 of the first period, when Kubic was screened after a scrambled give-away.  They added another one at 7:44 of the second.  The Giants responded by cashing in a carry-over PP at the top of the third.  Tyler Benson banked the puck off of the back of the Silvertip netminder and into the net.  The play appeared to be deliberate.  Trevor Cox and Matt Barberis had the assists.  Failing to clear the puck from their zone, the Giants allowed a heart-breaking late goal as they were ramping up to get the tying marker.  The Silvertips were actively playing Constantine hockey for most of the third, shutting down the neutral zone and running interference in the slot.  They were also good at getting on the puck carrier early and not giving the Giants time and space to move the puck.

The Giants out-shot the Tips 22-21.  Neither team got a ton of rubber on the net, but both goalies were pretty good when they had to be.  The Silvertip netminder was solid and at times excellent (stooping a couple of clean breakaways), but there was still little room to move in the Everett end of the ice and good scoring chances were limited.  The Giants went 1 for 3, while the Tips were 0 for 2 with the man-advantage.  It was a good effort by the Giants, but the Silvertips were quicker to loose pucks and rarely gave the Gs clean access to the front of the net.  After watching the last couple of games where the Giants had the momentum and were able to make plays, it was eye-opening to watch how easily a better skilled team (and one not shy to play shutdown hockey), could neutralize the Giants strengths.  I saw a lot of Ronning early in the game, but he was less noticeable until sometime in the third.  I think that was more he being unable to make the dangles and moves he has been the past few games, than him sleepwalking through shifts.  This is a small example of how frustrating playing against this kind of disciplined hockey team, when you are struggling to find your groove.

No rest for the boys as they come back home for an early evening game at the Coliseum versus the tenacious Prince George Cougars.  The Giants are playing their third game in three nights and could be a tired bunch for this tilt.  They need to get on the Cats early and get a buffer on the scoresheet.  Let’s see if Kubic can bounce back.  15 yr old AP David Tendeck might see his first start as a Giant, but I suspect Molleken will go with Kubic.  Game time 5pm PST.

Three Stars

  1. Mackenzie Dwyer
  2. Carter Hart
  3. Matt Fonteyne
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