The Giants did not skip a beat in the second round of the playoffs and did not seem to be slowed down by the Seattle Thunderbirds one bit.* They dominated on the boards, won the races to loose pucks, and rarely gave up the lead all series.
The Cougars have been defying my predictions all playoffs and I will stand corrected as they are looking very good thus far.* After soundly beating the Blazers and beating Everett in six the Cougars are ready for the challenge that awaits them.
During the regular season the Giants won the season series 7-1 and outscored the Cougars 33-13, shutting them out twice.
Vancouver’s Tyson Sexsmith has put on a goaltending clinic during the playoffs so far.* Leading all WHL goaltenders with a 1.83 goals against average, and an impressive .908 save percentage.* Granted he has only faced 195 shots against, he is still a solid 7-1-1 this post season, and has a shutout to his name.
Prince George has leaned on Real Cyr as the go-to guy this post season.* He has stepped up performance in a big way posting a goals against average of 2.58 and a .919 save percentage.* While he has not posted a shutout, nor been a dominant force so far it should be noted he has not lost a game in regulation so far this post season.
Kenndal McArdle has continued to lead the Vancouver Giants offense in points, with 13 (6-7), and has been an example for hockey players everywhere.* Spencer Machacek has kept up his pace with 11 points (7-4) so far.* Michael Repik and Mario Bliznak have picked up their pace as well and allow the Giants to put two very scary lines on the ice.* Milan Lucic seems to be having a tough time finding open ice and that may be due to the attention he gathered through the regular season.
The Prince George Cougars line of Devin Setoguchi (10-8), Jared Walker (6-11) and Nick Drazenovic (9-7) are looking super scary this post season.* They rank 1,2 and 3 in league playoff scoring,* The Cougars are far from a one-line team also with Evan Fuller and Chris Durand putting up solid numbers as well.* This team will make you pay if you take a penalty no questions asked.
Edge: Prince George
Brendan Mikkelson continues to lead the Giants defensive core with 6 points (2-4).* Jonathan Blum has a solid 5 points (3-2) and a +12 rating while Brent Festerling is at +11.* Vancouver’s defensive core is solid in all aspects and has done a phenomenal job of keeping the few shots that get through coming from the outside.
Prince George is still being lead offensively only by Ty Wishart on the blue line with 9 points (3-6).* Most points are coming from their forwards, and the defensemen are focusing on keeping the puck out of their zone and playing defence.* This may be a bit of a weakness for the Cougars.
Well, we're in for a solid series, definitely one to watch.* Vancouver has been excellent in keeping after the puck, winning battles along the boards and has excellent defense and depth at forward.* Prince George has found some solid offensive chemistry and can really hurt teams that take penalties.* Vancouver will need their defense to be able to bring the puck out of the zone and the entire team to stay out of the penalty box (attention J.D. Watt).
I think that home advantage and the goaltending match-up will be the sway in this series.
* Vancouver in 7.
Game #1 - Prince George @ Vancouver - Friday, April 20 (7:30 p.m.)
Game #2 - Prince George @ Vancouver - Saturday, April 21 (7:00 p.m.)
Game #3 - Vancouver @ Prince George - Tuesday, April 24 (7:00 p.m.)
Game #4 - Vancouver @ Prince George - Wednesday, April 25 (7:00 p.m.)
Game #5 - Prince George @ Vancouver - Friday, April 27 (7:30 p.m.) if necessary
Game #6 - Vancouver @ Prince George - Sunday, April 29 (6:00 p.m.) if necessary
Game #7 - Prince George @ Vancouver - Monday, April 30 (7:00 p.m.) if necessary
what a game for the giants Wacey Rabbit with 4 goals, cougars looked very ordinary much like they did all season long. Also whats so special about Mihalik i know that he's very tall but other than that what does he bring to the table thats so great? He seemed to shy away from alot of the physical play in both games i thought.
Got back from the game a little while ago, and man Vancouver looks like a good team.
Steoguchi had a very off-night, still managed to put up an assist, but he was fighting the puck all night, and pretty badly early one. The Cougars as a whole, until the third, almost looked like they weren't trying, but that may just be my opinion.
As for Machacek, I didn't really notice him on the ice, sorry Steadfast.
Can I get some opinions on Spencer Machacek? Looks like he is having a great playoff. Where might he go in the draft?
Machacek is known to step it up come playoff time. He's certainly a second half of the season type of player. As far as where he'll go in the draft that's a good question really. I guess it all depends on whether a team is willing to take him early in fear that he won't be around later on in the draft. If I had to guess I'd say anywhere between the 3rd and the 5th round. Any later than that and I'd be shocked. He's a very solid two way hockey player.
The Cougars manage to get a lucky win tonight thanks to some great goaltending by Bowles. I use the term lucky because the Giants clearly out played the Cougars for the entire 3rd period and in overtime. Bowles made a huge breakaway stop on Machacek not long before Setoguchi scored the winner.