The Giants’ predicament, being down 3-0 in their opening-round playoff series, isn’t a pretty one but at least give the players credit for not spouting the usual assortment of ‘backs to the wall, there is no tomorrow’ cliches heading into Game 4 tonight at the Coliseum (7 p.m. AM650).
“You could say all the cliches you want but you just have to show up and play,” said Giants captain James Henry. “I can give you every cliché but we just have to win a hockey game,” echoed Brendan Gallagher.
The problem facing the Giants is this: the Tri-City Americans are a superior team, plain and simple. They finished 17 points ahead of the Giants during the regular season. They’ve beaten the Giants six times in seven tries this season. Their power play is better and their top players are producing at key moments, unlike the Giants top players. They’ve out-scored the Giants 11-5 in the series following the 4-0 victory on Tuesday.
Gallagher, Spencer Bennett, Brendan Rowinski and Andrej Stastny have combined for just two points in the first three games. Bennett and Rowinski are 20-year-olds and Stastny has world junior experience. Gallagher, at least, looked dangerous in Game 3 and hit a post. The others have to get something going if the Giants hope to extend the series to a Game 5 on Friday.
Americans netminder Drew Owsley doesn’t think the Giants will roll over tonight. “We buried a few in the third [Tuesday] to make it look like we beat them worse than we did,” Owsley noted. “I don’t expect them to fold their tent. I expect them to come out hard.”
The Giants’ struggles in the series are merely a continuation of their dismal performance in the month of March. They are 2-11-0 since the calendar turned. Winning one game against the Americans might be a tall order. Winning four straight seems virtually impossible.Tags: Vancouver Giants