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Giants Struggle In Weekend Showdown

Photo Credit Mark Steffens

In a weekend clash against the Kelowna Rockets, the Vancouver Giants faced tough competition resulting in back-to-back losses, first at Langley Events Centre and then at Prospera Place.

Friday saw the Giants fall 6-2 to the Rockets, with Cameron Schmidt and Tyson Zimmer managing to find the net amidst Kelowna’s dominant offensive display. 

Kelowna’s top line showcasing their prowess, accumulating a staggering 11 points and swiftly responding to Vancouver’s attempts to rally that saw the Rockets pull out the 6-2 win.

Brett Mirwald, Logen Hammett, and Wyatt Wilson were named as the Three Stars for their final WHL regular season home game in a contest that saw Mirwald finish with 30 saves on 35 shots, but ultimately couldn’t stave off Kelowna’s persistent attacks.

The following night didn’t bring much respite for the Giants as they faced another defeat, this time losing 5-2 against the Rockets at Prospera Place. 

Tyson Zimmer and Jaden Lipinski managed to find the back of the net for Vancouver, but Kelowna’s Max Graham and Ethan Neutens proved to be formidable opponents, each scoring two goals, with Michael Cicek also adding to the tally.

Reflecting on the challenging weekend, Associate Coach Adam Maglio emphasized the importance of consistency and maintaining intensity. He stated, “It’s crucial for us to stay focused and bring our A-game every night. The playoffs demand nothing less.”

The Giants faced an uphill battle in both games, being outshot by the Rockets and struggling on the power play. 

In the goaltending battle, Brett Mirwald showcased resilience despite the losses, making 30 saves out of 35 shots on Friday and 41 saves out of 45 shots on Saturday. 

However, the Rockets’ Jari Kykkanen stood tall in the opposing net, securing wins for Kelowna with 22 saves out of 24 shots and 25 saves out of 27 shots on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

With the regular season now concluded, the Giants find themselves in sixth place in the Western Conference with a record of 32-32-4-0. 


Looking ahead, they are gearing up for the playoffs, where they are set to face off against the Everett Silvertips in the first round starting on March 29 in Everett.

This marks the fourth playoff meeting between the Giants and Silvertips, with Vancouver emerging victorious in two of the three previous series. 

In 2006, the Giants swept Everett in the third round en route to winning the WHL Championship. In 2022, they upset Everett in six games, becoming the first eighth seed in WHL history to defeat a first seed. However, in 2004, the Silvertips defeated the Giants in six games in the second round.

As the Giants regroup and prepare for the playoff showdown with Everett, forward Ty Halaburda acknowledges the importance of the home crowd’s support, stating,

“The fans are great, their momentum will hopefully help carry us into the playoffs.” With the backing of their dedicated fanbase and a renewed determination, the Giants hope to make a strong playoff push despite the setbacks faced over the weekend.


Game   Date Away Home Time

1 Friday, March 29 Vancouver Everett 7:05 p.m. PT

2 Saturday, March 30 Vancouver Everett 6:05 p.m. PT

3 Wednesday, April 3 Everett Vancouver 7:00 p.m. PT

4 Friday, April 5 Everett Vancouver 7:00 p.m. PT

5* Sunday, April 7 Vancouver Everett 4:05 p.m. PT

6* Tuesday, April 9 Everett Vancouver 7:00 p.m. PT

7* Wednesday, April 10 Vancouver Everett 7:05 p.m. PT


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