Jackson Houck scored twice as the Vancouver Giants picked up a big 5-1 win over the Eastern Conference leading Edmonton Oil Kings on Saturday evening at Rexall Place. Vancouver was without four regular defensemen with Brett Kulak, Dalton Thrower, Tyler Morrison and Arvin Atwal all out of the line-up. Forward Joel Hamilton played on the blue line while also chipping in with three assists in the win.
The Oil Kings had some early pressure in the Vancouver zone, and the Giants took a couple of penalties, sending Edmonton to a five-on-three power play, but the Vancouver penalty kill unit kept the Oil Kings of the board. Houck opened the scoring on the man advantage, knocking the puck past Edmonton goalie Tyler Santos. Carter Popoff added to the lead with a power play goal of his own, firing a shot between Santos' legs from the left circle. Just 43 seconds after Popoff's goal, Trent Lofthouse gave the G-Men a three goal lead when he scored from below the goal line, banking the puck off an Oil King defender and into the net.
Edmonton got on the board with a power play goal off the stick of Curtis Lazar, but Sward quickly answered back for the Giants when he forced a turnover behind the Edmonton net, walked out front, and scored on his own rebound. Houck struck again for his second of the night and 30th of the season on a power play with a nice shot underneath the cross-bar after a great pass from Hamilton that found him alone in front of the net.
The Vancouver club played a very strong defensive third period, limiting the Oil Kings to just six shots to complete a very thorough victory. The Giants will now return home after picking up four of a possible six points on their Alberta road swing. The G-Men will get back at it on Friday when they visit the Kelowna Rockets. Catch the action on TEAM 1410 and teamradio.ca. The face-off is set for 7:00pm.
1. Jackson Houck - Vancouver
2. Joel Hamilton - Vancouver
3. Payton Lee - Vancouver