Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Lee Backstops Giants To Win Over Royals

Payton Lee made 41 saves as the Vancouver Giants came from behind to beat the Victoria Royals 3-2 at the Pacific Coliseum on Wednesday night. The G-Men got goals from Dalton Sward, Jackson Houck and Trent Lofthouse. As a result of the win, the season series between the two clubs finishes dead-even as both teams went 5-4-1.

The Royals controlled the first period of play, amping up the pressure in the Vancouver zone and out-shooting the Giants 21-4. However, Lee gave one of his best performances of the season and turned aside all of Victoria's scoring attempts to keep the game scoreless through one.

The G-Men nearly took the lead early in the second after a goal-mouth scramble in front of Royals goalie Coleman Vollrath, but the puck stayed out, and the Royals took a 1-0 lead on the counter attack when Steven Hodges was sprung in on net and beat Lee with a high shot that went off the post and into the net. Vancouver responded to tie the game later in the stanza after a great effort by Sward as he scored while lying on the ice right in front of the Victoria net, picking up his 18th of the season. Vancouver went on to take the lead on the power play before the end of the period when Houck tipped a Brett Kulak point shot into the goal from the top of the crease. The goal was Houck's team-leading 31st of the season.

Trent Lofthouse gave the Giants some insurance in the third when he scored a similar goal to Houck's, deflecting a Kulak point shot past Vollrath on the power play to make it 3-1. The Royals pulled to within one later in the frame when Austin Carroll struck on the man advantage, shovelling a rebound into the Vancouver net. Victoria pulled the goaltender in the late stages, looking for an equalizer, but the Giants held them at bay to pick up the victory.

Vancouver had a good night on the White Spot power play, going 2-for-3. The Royals were 1-for-5 on the man advantage. Victoria out shot Vancouver 43-23. The Kelowna Rockets also won on Wednesday night which means the Giants will face the Portland Winterhawks in the first round of the playoffs.

The Giants play next on Friday night when they host the Kelowna Rockets in their final home game of the regular season. It will also be Fan Appreciation Night at the Rink on Renfrew, and one fan will go home with a 2014 Honda CR-V EX. For tickets, call 604-4-GIANTS or visit

Game Summary

3 Stars:
1. Payton Lee - Vancouver
2. Dalton Sward - Vancouver
3. Logan Nelson - Victoria

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