Copied from Giants' website (Vancouver Wins 8th Straight, 4-3 over the P. G. Cougars)December 29 2008 at 2:39 PM
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|N. W. Bruin (Login NW_Bruin_GM)|
Vancouver Wins 8th Straight, 4-3 over the Prince George Cougars
Craig Cunningham scores his second of the game with just 1:24 remaining to lift the Giants over the Cougars 4-3
(Chris Relke Photo)
Dave Sheldon - Vancouver Giants
VANCOUVER BC – The Vancouver Giants needed two late goals by James Wright and Craig Cunningham to slip by the Prince George Cougars 4-3 on Saturday night.
Prince George was a game bunch. Dallas Jackson and Parker Stanfield scored early in the first period to stake the Cougars to a quick 2-0 lead, despite being badly outshot by the Giants. Casey Pierro-Zabotel was able to respond for the Giants on the power play late in period one, as he snapped a wrist shot past Cougars goaltender Kevin Armstrong. The Giants outshot the Cougars 20-8 after one period, but trailed 2-1.
In period two, the Giants struck on the power play once again. Craig Cunningham scored his 15th goal of the season, converting a loose puck after a goal mouth scramble to tie the game at two. But before the period was over, the Cougars restored their lead as Tyler Halliday smacked in a rebound off the back wall past Giants keeper Tyson Sexsmith with under one second left in the period. Prince George went to period three with a 3-2 lead. It was only the fifth time in 34 games that the Giants trailed after two periods of play, and the Giants, with the Giants posting a 1-2-0-1 record when behind after two.
But the Giants were able to find a way in the third, but not before Kevin Armstrong did his best to spoil the party. Armstrong faced 16 third period shots, many of them sensational scoring opportunities. But Armstrong was unable to stop them all. James Wright was able to convert a Garry Nunn pass and fire a wrist shot to tie the game 3-3 with 2:44 left on the clock. Cunningham capped the comeback with just 1:24 remaining, swooping in on a loose puck and going forehand to backhand before lifting the puck past Armstrong for the game winner. For Cunningham, it was the second consecutive game winning goal and also his 16th goal of the season.
Tyson Sexsmith picks up his nineteenth win of the season, while Armstrong suffers his 19th loss. The Giants move to 29-2-0-3 on the season and remain 19 points ahead of Kelowna for first place in the BC Division. Vancouver also is now 13 points up on Tri City for the Western Conference lead.
Next up for the Giants, a battle against the Rockets on Monday night at the Rink on Renfrew. You can catch all the action on AM 650 and in the Coliseum on 88.7 FM. Brook Ward will host the SAVE ON FOODS pregame show at 6:30 pm, while Dave Sheldon and Jay Janower will call all of the Giants action at 7 pm.
|N. W. Bruin|
Vancouver Sun article (A victory calms those rattled nerves)No score for this post
|December 29 2008, 3:09 PM |
A victory calms those rattled nerves
Giants defenceman relieved streak continues upon his return from injury
By Ian WalkerDecember 29, 2008
Mike Berube isn't one to get nervous. His fingernails show no signs of displaced energy, and the Vancouver Giants veteran defenceman has no apparent facial ticks.
So there was a rare moment of angst for the usually calm and confident 20-year-old before the Giants' 4-3 victory over the Prince George Cougars Saturday.
Returning to the lineup for the first time in six weeks, his stress was not without merit. But it wasn't his conditioning that was a worry. Nor was his concern for his recently set arm. Rather, it was Vancouver's 14-1 record during his extended absence that played on his mind in the quiet minutes before stepping onto the Pacific Coliseum ice.
"The last thing you want is to come back and have the team lose, so I was thinking about that a bit," said Berube, who suffered the broken limb on Nov. 11 in Chilliwack. "The guys were on quite a roll there ... but it turned out alright."
The same can be said about the timing of Berube's return to the Giants. The Western Conference leaders are minus two of their biggest stars at the world junior championships, with captain Jonathon Blum a defenceman with Team USA and winger Evander Kane a rookie with Team Canada. Vancouver is also without rookie forward Brendan Gallagher, who is a member of Team Pacific at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Port Alberni.
While hard pressed to match Blum's offensive prowess, Berube's calming presence and leadership was readily apparent against the Cougars, as the Giants trailed 3-2 heading into the third period. The Giants needed two late goals by James Wright and Craig Cunningham to run their win streak to a WHL-best nine games.
"It was good to have Mike back," said Hay, following Sunday's mid-afternoon practice at the Giants' training facility in Ladner. "He brought some excitement to the group and some experience on the back end that was lacking with him and Jon not available. We're going to need that over the next while here."
Saturday's game was the first of a five-game holiday road stand for Vancouver, who will be looking to keep their undefeated home record intact tonight against the Kelowna Rockets, who were 4-3 winners over the Kamloops Blazers on Saturday. Vancouver holds a 19-point lead over their B.C. Division rival, who will be without leading scorer Jamie Benn as well as fellow forwards Tyler Myers and Stepan Novotny, all of whom are at the world juniors. Benn and Myers are members of Team Canada, while Novotny is playing for the Czech Republic.
Tonight's game is the second of three in four nights for Vancouver, who host the Moose Jaw Warriors on Tuesday. A tedious schedule, no doubt. But a great one to get rid of all those jitters, said Berube.
"It's just really good to be back playing and contributing," he said. "It was tough being out. I've waited a long time for this. Sure, it's tough on the body, but it forces you to be in that mindset of competing hard every night."
Instead of just thinking about it.
© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun
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