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The wait is finally over for the annual Vancouver Giants Teddy Bear Toss, but this year features a new addition.

Not that it needed anything different as the event continues to be one of the more productive events hosted by the Giants.

While the game features the home town Vancouver Giants as they host the Tri-City Americans who currently sit with 27 points (14-13-1-1) sitting one point back of the Giants who have 28 points (12-12-2-1) through 28 games.

Today’s event was extra special for the Giants as well as the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau  and it took only 4:04 in the opening period that saw the ice littered with Bears that came in a variety of sizes, many of which were hard even for players to carry.

The Giants were all dressed in their “Grinch” uniforms all snuggled and green that made the Americans envy in shame.

  • The socks were worn by D-man alike in hopes of sending the American’s home tonight
  • The Giants all dressed in Red and Green, making the American’s ponder what they had seen
  • The Arena was decked with candy galore having the fans wanting more, more, more
  • As the game progressed the fans got restless, many of whom were close to breathless
  • As the game drew to an end, two points they would need but not out of greed
  • Teddy Bear Toss was not just a wish, but a hope and a dream they had accomplished

The Giants got on the board with a goal from one of the two newest Giants Michal Kvasnica acquired two days ago with Medicine Hat that saw thousands of Teddy Bears descend from the stands as Nielsen and Sourdif setting up the marquis 2019 goal 

Connor Horning, who joined the club 10 days ago netted his first goal as a Giant that proved to be the eventual game winner at 15:55 coming off a low shot that squeaked past Beck Warm’s stick that saw Sourdif and Bryam set up the goal.

Despite trailing, Tri-City were leading by a slim 16-15 margin in the shot department that saw the second period went scoreless, but having the G-men reverse the shots by a 19-7 margin.

Tri-Cities loan goal came at the 1:07 mark of the 3rd that saw Bouchard net his 7th of the season after getting set up from Hrabik and that’s all the G-men would allow.

While it put them on the board, it was short-lived as a1:45 later it was Tyler Preziuso banged in his 10th of the season after Nielson’s shot rebound to his stick.

As if one was enough he (Preziuso) notched his second of the game and 11th of the season at 6:34 when he notched one on the Giant’s PP giving Vancouver a 4-1 lead. 

Despite being narrowly outshot in the first, the G-men rebounded by outshooting Tri-City by a commanding 53-26 shot.

Despite being outshot we should remember Tri-City played last night in Spokane and made the trip earlier in the day, but that won’t deter the Giant faithful to let this win slide to the curb.

We should remember that Preziuso (20) and Trevor Longo (19) were acquired from Medicine Hat in exchange for Dylan Plouffe (20) and Lukas Svejkovsky (18) who left the Giants organization five days prior.

Following the game Giants Head Coach Michael Dyck told the waiting media “It’s starting to feel right and it’s a step forward for us and having a practice this week before we head south to Everett that’s where we will measure the bar.”

When Dyck was asked about the play of his newest members of the team he mentioned “They didn’t get a chance to practise and it was a really quick tutorial on what we do, but they’re good enough players and they were able to adapt.”

Acquiring players isn’t anything new for the  Giants in that they recently added Holden Katzlay from the struggling BCHL Surrey Eagles.

The 2019 Teddy Bear game played last season at the Pacific Coliseum had an announced crowd of 9,385, while they announced a crowd of 8,938 for the home of the Vancouver Canucks.

Adding insight to the game the Grinch-themed jerseys were the idea of  Peter Toigo and while you ponder how they managed to get two in time for the new players, it\s interesting to note that they had ordered two extra jerseys without names for the “maybe” column, which obviously worked out.

In addition to adding the above two GM Barclay Parneta added a first-round pick in the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft also from the Tigers and  as he mentioned to us in an interview for Eastlink TV, “he’d like to use this as part of a trade package to bring in more forward help, quite possibly through a trade.”   

Game Stats:

David Tendeck: 25/26 saves for Vancouver (8-7), Beck Warm: 49/53 saves for Tri-City (8-12-1-1)

Tri-City Power Play: 0/2,  Vancouver Power Play: 1/2

3 Stars:

  • Tyler Preziuso (VAN – 2 Goals)
  • Tristen Nielsen (VAN – 3 Assist
  • Michal Kvasnica (Van – Teddy Bear Goal)

. NOTES “Thanks to Dan”

  • The Giants set a new season high for shots on goal Sunday with 53
  • The Giants have out-shot their opposition in five straight games, and in 20 of their first 29 games altogether
  • Thanks to his three-assist effort, Tristen Nielsen has now registered five goals and five assists for 10 points in his past six games
  • The Giants improved their record against Tri-City to 2-1 on the season
  • Bowen Byram will be heading to Oakville Ontario joining Team Canada at the World Junior Selection Camp

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