The worries about the Vancouver Giants’ scoring can be put on hold for now.
The Giants, who came into Friday night with eight goals in their past five games, went off on the Regina Pats, blasting them 10-4 at the Langley Events Centre.
Regina’s rebuilding. They were 7-13-0-0 prior to facing the Giants, and three of their wins have come against the Swift Current Broncos, who are also young and inexperienced after loading up for a playoff run last year.
Much of what happened in the game can be attributed to Vancouver, though, as the Giants passed and supported the puck on offensive maybe as well as they have all season. It felt like the first time in several games that the Giants were playing fast, something that should be a Vancouver trademark.
It’s certainly a positive step with a showdown on Saturday (7:05 p.m. Spice 1200) on the road against the Everett Silvertips. Vancouver (14-4-2-0) is percentage points ahead of Everett (15-7-0-0) atop the WHL’s Western Conference.
The Giants swept both ends of a home-and-home against the Silvertips to open the season, taking each game by a 3-1 count.
“When we play on our toes and I think we’re aggressive, we play our best,” Giants coach Michael Dyck, who was very critical of his charges last Sunday after a 1-0 loss at home to the Prince George Cougars. “We did less thinking and more reacting. We just played.
“I think maybe we were a little hesitant last weekend. I thought we were on our heels. It wasn’t that we weren’t working hard. We were hesitating. Tonight we just played.
“We were playing quick. That’s the key to our game. Whether we are playing the Regina Pats or the Everett Silvertips, we have to play fast. The puck has to do the work for us.”
The Giants, who hit double digits for the first time since a 10-0 win over over the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Jan. 24, 2014, got highlight goals from Justin Sourdif and Bowen Byram in the first three minutes and roared away from there.
The first period was particularly entertaining. It featured a marriage proposal in the first extended break, with a cartoon engagement ring under one of three cartoon coffee cups on the big screen as part of a game from sponsor Tim Horton’s.
There were also a couple of scraps on the ice for people so inclined.
Milos Roman had two goals and one assist for the winners. Tristen Nielsen and Yannik Valenti also had two goals while Davis Koch has three assists. Single goals, besides Sourdif and Byram, also went to Dawson Holt and Jared Dmytriw.
“They’re a young team and they’re rebuilding,” Dyck said of the Pats. “They work hard and they never quit. They made a push right through the game. We wanted to be putting as much pressure as we could on their defence and we did a pretty good job of that.
“We are encouraged by the offence and the power play coming together and contributing (with a 3-for-8 effort). We finally broke it open and, when that happens, the come in bunches.”
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