Giants unable to weather Winterhawks storm, lose 9-5 at home

 

Portland pelts Vancouver net with 51 shots and makes life miserable for two netminders

 
 
 
 
Vancouver Giants' goalie Tyler Fuhr, who has faced a lot of shots and rubber this Western Hockey League season, was tested often Friday in a 9-5 loss to the Portland Winterhawks. Fuhr came into the game with the Giants trailing 5-3 and couldn't save the night for the struggling Vancouver squad, which was outshot 51-20 at the Pacific Coliseum.
 

Vancouver Giants' goalie Tyler Fuhr, who has faced a lot of shots and rubber this Western Hockey League season, was tested often Friday in a 9-5 loss to the Portland Winterhawks. Fuhr came into the game with the Giants trailing 5-3 and couldn't save the night for the struggling Vancouver squad, which was outshot 51-20 at the Pacific Coliseum.

Photograph by: Steve Bosch, PNG

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The Vancouver Giants have played goalie roulette since the opening night of the Western Hockey League season and they are still seeking a saver — not to be confused with a saviour.

Liam Liston, Tyler Fuhr and now Payton Lee have had trouble making the routine stops and it is among the many reasons the Giants sit dead last in the Western Conference.

Lee, the Giants' 16-year-old 'goalie of the future', allowed five goals on 26 shots Friday and was given the hook for a second straight game as the Giants fell 9-5 to the soaring Portland Winterhawks at Pacific Coliseum.

Lee began the season playing for the Junior B Richmond Sockeyes but was summoned when Liston and then Fuhr struggled. Liston began to emerge from his funk but injured an ankle Nov. 1 in Medicine Hat and hasn't played since.

The Winterhawks didn't need the charity provided them Friday as they have been steamrolling every one of their foes lately and have won 10 straight, outscoring the opposition 58-18 during their streak.

The Giants twice pulled even during the game, 3-3 in the second and then 5-5 in the third, but ultimately were overwhelmed by the quicker and more polished Winterhawks.

“It's pretty disappointing,” said Giants winger Trevor Cheek, who scored twice and added an assist. “We battled back two times to tie it up and then we had a few lapses there and they pounced on us. We have to make sure that we keep coming after them. But I thought it was really good for the guys that we never gave up.”

Winterhawk starter Brendan Burke, the 17-year-old son of former NHLer Sean Burke, didn't fare any better than Lee. He was beaten five times on 19 shots and was hooked with the score tied 5-5. Veteran Mac Carruth came on, made just one save and got the win.

“Lee and Burke are two young goalies and both looked a little bit nervous,” commented Giants coach Don Hay. “I'm sure they'd both like to have some of those goals back. Both will get better and they will have better days ahead of them.”

Fuhr, who entered the game with the Giants down 5-3, played fairly well at first before the ceiling collapsed on him in the third. He surrendered four goals on 25 shots and wound up taking the loss when Marek Tvrdon and Carter Popoff briefly pulled Vancouver even 5-5 in the third. Portland then busted the game open on a pair by Nic Petan and singles by Paul Bittner and Adam De Champlain.

The Giants actually scored first Friday as Anthony Ast buried a juicy Blake Orban rebound past Burke. Portland then countered on goals by De Champlain, Taylor Peters and Brendan Leipsic to carry a 3-1 lead into the intermission.

Cheek pulled the Giants even by the 8:53 mark of the middle period, on a wraparound and then a wrister that handcuffed Burke, and Vancouver appeared to have life. But Lee surrendered a pair of sharp-angled goals to Tyler Wotherspoon and Taylor Leier 11 seconds apart and his night was done at 14:22 of the second.

Portland (14-3-1-0) outshot Vancouver 51-20, marking the 18th time in 18 games it has outshot its opponent. Winterhawk defenceman Seth Jones had one assist, was plus-4 and named first star.

The Prince George Cougars visit the Coliseum on Sunday for a 4 p.m. matinee.

G-NOTES: Winterhawks right winger Ty Rattie extended his point streak to 12 games with three assists (12-14-26)... Three Winterhawks – Derrick Pouliot, Tyler Wotherspoon and Rattie – will be back at the Coliseum on Wednesday to play for Team WHL in the Subway Super Series game agains the touring Russian side.

epap@vancouversun.com

 
 
 
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Vancouver Giants' goalie Tyler Fuhr, who has faced a lot of shots and rubber this Western Hockey League season, was tested often Friday in a 9-5 loss to the Portland Winterhawks. Fuhr came into the game with the Giants trailing 5-3 and couldn't save the night for the struggling Vancouver squad, which was outshot 51-20 at the Pacific Coliseum.
 

Vancouver Giants' goalie Tyler Fuhr, who has faced a lot of shots and rubber this Western Hockey League season, was tested often Friday in a 9-5 loss to the Portland Winterhawks. Fuhr came into the game with the Giants trailing 5-3 and couldn't save the night for the struggling Vancouver squad, which was outshot 51-20 at the Pacific Coliseum.

Photograph by: Steve Bosch, PNG

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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