Joel Hamilton scored the lone Vancouver goal as the Giants lost 4-1 to the Portland Winterhawks at the Moda Center on Saturday evening. Payton Lee made 30 saves in the losing cause for the G-Men as they finish the season series against the 'Hawks with a record of 0-3-0-1.
The Portland club got on the board early when Chase De Leo netted his 39th of the year just 3:33 into the opening frame. The Giants got into penalty trouble in the first period, giving the Winterhawks five power plays, but the Vancouver penalty killers were able to keep the puck out of the net as Payton Lee came up big, making a number of critical stops between the pipes. Later in the stanza, the Giants were given a power play of their own, and Hamilton tied the game by beating Winterhawks goalie Adin Hill with a shot from the point.
Lee was called into action again in the second period when Taylor Leier forced a turnover at the Portland blue line and skated in alone on a shorthanded breakaway, but the Vancouver net minder stuck right with him to make a calm and confident save. The Winterhawks wouldn’t be denied though as Brendan Leipsic scored off the rush on the backhand a few minutes later to restore the Portland lead.
Keegan Iverson gave the home team a two-goal lead in the third period when he tapped the puck past Lee from the top of the crease after a pretty backhand pass from Nic Petan to find him in front. The Giants thought they’d pulled back to within one goal later in the period when Ty Ronning appeared to score, but the goal was waved off because the referees felt Cain Franson had contacted the goaltender on the play. Oliver Bjorkstrand would add one more Portland goal in the late stages to complete the win.
The Giants penalty kill had a strong night, despite the loss, killing off all five Portland power plays. The G-Men, for their part, went 1-for-5 on the man advantage. The Winterhawks outshot the Giants 34-29.
The Vancouver squad will complete a two-game road-trip on Sunday against the Seattle Thunderbirds at the Showare Center. Catch the call on TEAM 1040 and teamradio.ca. The Pre-Game Show begins at 4:30pm, followed by the face-off at 5 o’clock.
1. Adin Hill - Portland
2. Brendan Leipsic - Portland
3. Taylor Leier - Portland