When the Vancouver Giants take to the ice for their final home game of the season Friday night in the Pacific Coliseum, it will be the last time Trevor Cox will play a Western Hockey League (*WHL) game in front of friends and family.
The 20-year-old from Surrey is completing his over-age season in the WHL this year, one that will end Saturday night in Kelowna. With the Giants missing the playoffs, Cox won’t have a chance to participate in the WHL postseason tournament for a fifth time in as many seasons.
“I have no regrets,” said the five-foot-eight left winger, who was traded to Vancouver from the Medicine Hat Tigers, where he played for the first four seasons of his WHL career.
“I just remember when I started, a veteran told me to enjoy it because it goes by so fast. And he was right, I played five years and it went by so quick.”
Cox was just 16 when he went to Medicine Hat, making the jump to Major Junior hockey from the BC Hockey Major Midget League’s Valley West Hawks.
He improved his goal total each year in Medicine Hat, scoring 10 goals in his rookie season, then putting up season totals of 16, 25 and 29. His point totals also went up year-by-year with the Tigers, and last year had his best season as a junior with 109 points.
After scoring four times and adding four assists in six games with the Tigers this season, he was sent to Vancouver in a trade. As a Giant, he had 13 goals and 51 points in 48 games.
“The trade caught me by surprise,” Cox admitted. “But it was good. I could go to practice in Delta, and be home with my family 20 minutes later.”
Although his numbers didn’t match those of his final two seasons in Alberta, Cox has been able to reach some milestones. He recently reached the 200-assist and 300-point plateaus, and is three goals shy of 100 career goals.
“I’m proud of the milestones I’ve achieved,” he said. “Whatever happens next season, I know I gave it my best.”
Next season is an unknown for Cox. Undrafted, he may be offered a professional contract at the minor league level over the summer, but for now, the final week of the WHL season is all that matters.
“I’m not worried about next season, a few things might happen, but I’m not concentrating on it.
“We have (two) games left, I’ll just go out and play the same way as always, and show what I can do.”
The Giants dropped two games last weekend, falling 5-1 on home ice to the Portland Winterhawks Friday night the losing 2-1 in a shootout on the road Saturday against the Kamloops Blazers.
In Friday’s game, the Winterhawks led 1-0 after one period and 5-2 after two.
Owen Hardy netted Vancouver’s first goal two minutes into the second frame to tie the scored at 1-1. Cox tallied his 17th of the season on the powerplay with seven minutes to play to close out the scoring.
The Giants outshot Portland 32-29, and went one-for-four on the powerplay. The Winterhawks scored once on three powerplay chances.
Ryan Kubic was in goal for Vancouver, making 24 saves.
The Giants earned a point in Kamloops Saturday night, taking the Blazers to a shootout before losing.
Radovan Bondra put the Giants up 1-0 midway through the second period, but the Blazers drew even seven minutes into the third period.
Kubic was again in goal, making 38 saves as the Giants were outshot 39-31.
The Giants will close out their season with two games against the Kelowna Rockets. The two teams play Friday night at 7:30 p.m. in the Pacific Coliseum then face-off for a rematch in Kelowna Saturday.