Vancouver Giants goaltender Ryan Kubic denies Brandon's James Shearer with a pad save

Plouffe plays OT hero

Vancouver snaps six-game losing streak with 2-1 win over Brandon at Langley Events Centre



Gary Ahuja

Black Press

A scrap at the second period buzzer turned Friday’s night’s Western Hockey League game 180 degrees, from a lacklustre affair to one in which the crowd was emotionally invested, chanting the opposing netminder’s name in hopes of rattling him.

It was a far cry from the game’s first 40 minutes, which had little intensity or emotion at the Langley Events Centre.

But a scrum at the second period buzzer changed all that.

With the teams together on the side boards, Vancouver defenceman Dmitry Osipov and Brandon Wheat Kings centre Stelio Mattheos wound up dropping the gloves, with Osipov landing several huge shots to his opponent.

And just like that, it was old-time hockey as the teams took turn taking needless penalties and gunning for big, board-rattling hits.

Altogether, the teams combined for 42 minutes in penalties in the third period alone, and the LEC crowd of 4,239 seemed to relish it.

To make it even better for the home crowd, the Giants also came away with a 2-1 overtime victory as Dylan Plouffe’s shot from the top of the circles hit Brandon’s Tyler Coulter and deflected past goaltender Logan Thompson for the decisive goal.

“We wanted to get something set up and it ended up working,” Plouffe said about the team’s strategy on the delayed call.

“(Tyler Benson) laid a perfect pass on the ice and I did what I could to get it on net.”

This was Vancouver’s third straight game which went beyond 60 minutes and with the loser-point in the first two, the team has picked up four of a possible six points, improving to 11-16-1-1. The Wheat Kings fell to 13-10-4-0.

“I liked our game from start to finish in all areas,” said Vancouver coach Jason McKee.

The coach was impressed by his team’s resolve, pointing out that in the past, the team has not been able to recover from surrendering a late goal.

“It could have been easy to let things slide (but) tonight, we stayed with it.”

Vancouver’s Matt Barberis opened the scoring in the first period, corralling a loose a puck at the side of the net and firing home his fifth of the season 6:11 into the game.

That stood as the game’s only goal until the 14-minute mark of the third period as Brandon’s James Shearer took a cross-ice pass from Connor Gutenberg and sniped a shot glove-side on Ryan Kubic.

The goal was a power-play marker as Vancouver was short-handed five times in the final 20 minutes, although many of those were abbreviated penalties.

“We have to learn from that; we took some unnecessary penalties that really could of hurt us but our PK was outstanding,” McKee said.

The bad blood seemingly came out of nowhere.

“It was a heavy game, both teams, for not knowing each other, went at it tonight,” the coach added. “There was a lot of physicality and the guys responded to that.”

Kubic, who finished with 25 saves, was the game’s second star while Thompson, who made 22 saves, was the third star.

Benson, the Giants captain was the first star, setting up the game-winning goal.

Vancouver is back in action on Dec. 3 as they travel to Kamloops to face the Blazers.

•••

With the win, the Giants improved to 4-1 in overtime while the Wheat Kings fell to 1-4.

Just Posted

Dewdney Trunk Road closed, vehicle crashes

Happened in early evening, injuries unknown

Court supports Maple Ridge role in tent city

Rejects Pivot application to allow people to return

City video updates Maple Ridge Leisure Centre re-do

Rusty support columns delaying project by a few months

Maple Ridge councillor back at work

Duncan away because of car accident

Seniors conquer the arctic

Pitt Meadows guide led 35-day trek

VIDEO: Wet weather kicks off Lower Mainland toad migration

Thousands of small western toads were making the trek from pond to woods

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

Serious police incident unfolding at Sts’ailes near Agassiz

Small reserve near Agassiz surrounded by police vehicles, helicopter, ERT

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

RCMP release sketch of suspect in SFU assault, appeal to witnesses who helped woman

The RCMP want to talk to two women who helped the victim after she got to the parking lot

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

Most Read