Giants set to host final pre-season action at LEC

Vancouver won two of three games over the weekend in Everett, hopes to duplicate that success this weekend in Langley

It was the Ty Ronning show on Sunday afternoon.

The 20-year-old scored three times — including the overtime winner — and had a hand in all five goals as the Vancouver Giants knocked off the Tri-City Americans 5-4.

Vancouver trailed 4-1 heading into the final 20 minutes before scoring four unanswered goals.

Tyler Popowich and Bowen Bryam had the other goals.

In goal, veteran Ryan Kubic stopped 13 of 16 shots before giving way to Todd Scott, who stopped 15 of 16 shots.

“It was nice to have a comeback win in our last game (and) winning in overtime is always exciting,” said Vancouver head coach Jason McKee.

“It definitely gives our guys a boost of confidence going into the weekend.”

The win was the second victory in three games for the major junior squad as they prepared for the start of the 2017/18 Western Hockey League season by taking part in a four-team tournament in Everett.

The Giants also beat Seattle 3-1 before falling by that same score to the Spokane Chiefs.

Brendan Semchuk and Owen Hardy each had a goal and assist in the victory while Brad Morrison potted the other goal.

Scott stopped all 14 shots he faced and Trent Miner made eight saves on nine shots.

Against the Chiefs, Darian Skeoch had the lone goal. David Tendeck stopped 17 of 18 shots while Jacob Wasserman finished with 21 saves on 23 shots.

Vancouver is still carrying all five goaltenders and that has likely been the most competitive position so far.

Over the three games, the goaltenders combined for a save percentage of .917. By comparison, the Giants finished with an .883 save percentage in 2016/17.

Leading the way this weekend was Scott, who combined to stop 29 of 30 shots in two appearances.

He was the lone goalie of the five to make two appearances.

Scott and Wasserman are both 17 years old while Miner is 16.

Kubic — last year’s starter and team MVP — is 19 while his back-up, Tendeck, turns 18 this fall.

McKee, who enters his second season as head coach, has liked what he has seen so far.

“Our guys have done exactly what we asked of them; they are in good shape and have worked extremely hard and put themselves in position to put our best foot forward early,” he said.

“Their conditioning levels have been good and so has the attention to detail and their commitment to getting us off to a real good start.”

LEC hosting four teams

The Giants wrap up their pre-season by hosting three other teams at the Langley Events Centre this weekend.

Vancouver plays Prince George on Friday (7 p.m.), Victoria on Saturday (6 p.m.) and Everett on Sunday (4 p.m.).

The tournament also features Everett vs. Prince George (Saturday, 2 p.m.) and Prince George vs. Victoria (Sunday, noon).

The Giants have trimmed their roster from 36 down to 30 and will make more cuts following this weekend.

They will also be without two key cogs in Ronning and captain Tyler Benson.

Ronning is at New York Rangers developmental camp while Benson — who has yet to practice this season — is with the Edmonton Oilers prospects, taking part in the Vancouver Canucks Young Stars Classic in Penticton.

This weekend is the last chance for the players to make an impression as the team continues to whittle down their roster.

“We will go through the weekend and then some decisions will be made after Sunday,” McKee said.

The Giants open the WHL season on Sept. 22 and play their home opener at the LEC the following night.

sports@langleytimes.com

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