A rematch Saturday night on home ice will hopefully spawn different results for the Langley-based Vancouver Giants.
On Friday night in Oregon the Vancouver Giants (9-2-1-0) dropped a 5-3 decision to the Portland Winterhawks (6-3-0-1).
Jake Gricius scored twice on the power play for Portland, while Cody Glass added a goal and an assist.
Portland struck twice in a span of a minute and 10 seconds in the back-half of the third period to help complete the Winterhawks comeback from a 3-1 deficit.
James Malm, Justin Sourdif, and Bowen Byram had goals for the Giants who failed to secure a point for the first time in a span of nine games.
Portland’s power play finished two-for-five on the night and helped kick-start their offence in the first period at 13:22. Jake Gricius parked himself in front of the net and redirected a pass from Joachim Blichfeld past Giants starter David Tendeck to give them the 1-0 lead.
With less than a minute to go in the first, the Giants responded with a power play tally of their own. Malm notched his team-leading ninth goal off a blistering shot from the slot that fooled Winterhawks starter Shane Farkas.
Vancouver’s power play would end the night one-for-four.
A pair of goals a minute and 41 seconds apart early in the second vaulted the Giants ahead 3-1. Sourdif gave the Giants the lead when he knocked his own rebound past Farkas at 2:58.
Then Byram, who has recorded points in five of his last six game, snagged his fifth of the season when he whacked home a Yannik Valenti rebound at 4:39.
Portland’s power play got them back within a goal at 9:45 when Gricius tucked home his second of the night off a set-up from Cody Glass. Neither team solved the other in the final 10 minutes of the second frame, which kept the score at 3-2 favoring the Giants heading into the final period. Shots were 19-17 for Portland through two.
A 70-second sequence of the third period would turn the tide for Portland. At 12:29 Portland tied the game when Glass’ one-timer from the left-wing circle dribbled through Tendeck and across the red goal line.
Then, on the next shift, winger Reece Newkirk raced down the left-wing, dragged the puck to the middle and snapped a shot past the stick of Tendeck and home for his seventh of the season to move Portland ahead.
An empty net goal from Ryan Hughes at 18:57 ended all hopes of Giants comeback and helped clinch the 5-3 home-ice victory for the Winterhawks who outshot the Giants by a slim 26-25 margin.
But the G-Men aren’t giving up to Portland without a fight.
Up next, they play the Winterhawks again Saturday night, this time at the Langley Events Centre at 7 p.m. This game kicks off a stretch of eight straight games at home for the Vancouver Giants.