When the Vancouver Giants lose, they lose big.
In six of their 16 regulation losses this season, the team has lost by a combined 35 goals.
The most recent loss came Wednesday night, a 5-0 defeat at the hands of the visiting Spokane Chiefs in Western Hockey League action at the Langley Events Centre.
The loss dropped Vancouver to 25-16-4-3 while Spokane improved to 26-19-1-2.
It marked the third straight loss for the Giants — with just a loser point to show for their efforts — and the team has also been shut-out in consecutive contests.
For most of the season, speed has been a constant in the Giants game but that was not the case on Wednesday.
“We weren’t very good,” said Giants coach Jason McKee. “(Spokane) looked quicker and faster (and) we didn’t seem engaged.
“They were the better team and we just flat out weren’t very good tonight.”
The Chiefs played the night before in Spokane and had to make a six-and-half hour drive to Langley. And while McKee thought his team had a good week of practice, none of that showed in the game.
“We looked extremely slow, we looked sluggish and I don’t have an answer for that right now,” McKee said.
“We have become accustomed to see certain things from certain guys in our group and we didn’t see a lot of that tonight.”
“Other than our penalty kill, our game was not very sharp at all. Execution wasn’t very good, But when you are not focused you are not mentally prepared, that is usually the result that happens.”
Spokane scored on their first shot of the game as Zach Fischer scored from behind the net, banking the puck off goaltender David Tendeck 63 seconds into the game.
The Giants had ample opportunity to get that goal back as they enjoyed three power-play opportunities in the opening 20 minutes. Vancouver had 15 of their 31 shots in the first period but nothing to show for it.
The Chiefs doubled the lead 59 seconds into the second when Edmonton Oilers first round draft Kailer Yammamoto intercepted a pass in the slot and beat Tendeck up high on the glove side. And just over two minutes later, he struck again, this time shorthanded, taking a pass from Carolina Hurricanes prospect Hudson Elynuik on a two-on-one break.
Luke Toporowski would make it 4-0 midway through the period.
The game did see the WHL debut of goaltender Trent Miner as the first round pick in the 2016 bantam draft, started the third period in goal for the Giants.
Miner, who turns 17 in less than two weeks, finished with 14 saves on 15 shots, as the only shot which beat him came off the skate of Elynuik, who was driving to the net and had the puck bank off him and in.
“I thought he came in and made some real good saves. He looked comfortable out there,” McKee said.
The Giants continue their home stand on Friday night as they host the Victoria Royals at the LEC with a 7:30 p.m. puck drop. Victoria holds a one-point lead over Vancouver for second place in the B.C. Division.