Vikman shines for Giants, helps Vancouver hold off Porland Winterhawks


“Tonight was all about Jesper Vikman. He won us the hockey game,” said Giants coach Michael Dyck.

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Jesper Vikman added to his highlight reel and the Vancouver Giants added to their win total as a result Saturday night at the Langley Events Centre.

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Vikman, the Giants’ 19-year-old Swedish goalie who’s a Vegas Golden Knights prospect, made a handful of stops worthy of a viewing on replay in a 39-save effort that propelled the Giants (6-2-1-0) to a 3-1 triumph over the Portland Winterhawks (5-7-0-1).

“Tonight was all about Jesper Vikman. He won us the hockey game,” said Giants coach Michael Dyck. “I don’t think we’re very happy with our effort as a whole. We had some guys step up, but, for the most part, we got outplayed tonight.”

Vikman’s excellence included stoning Jonah Bevington on a breakaway at 7:43 of the second period, sprawling to foil Jaydon Dureau’s wraparound attempt after getting caught out of the net at 6:23 of the third period and then standing his ground on a Cross Hanas breakaway at 4:01 of the third.

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He also got some help from defenceman Connor Horning, who had a pair of key blocks on Portland attempts and also cleared a loose puck out the Vancouver crease.  

The Winterhawks outshot the Giants 40-29, despite the fact Portland was playing its third game on the road in four nights. They were coming off   a 5-4 shootout win over the Kelowna Rockets on Friday.  

Vancouver was playing on back-to-back nights, having beaten the Prince George Cougars 3-1 at the LEC on Friday.

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“We were well prepared for these guys. We knew what they were going to come with. I think their best players were their best players. Ours weren’t,” Dyck said.

Horning with his fourth, Ty Thorpe with his fifth and Nicco Camazola with his second scored for Vancouver in a 2:05 span in the first period to give the Giants 3-0 lead.  

James Stefan finally beat Vikman with 2:39 to go on a Portland over play.

The game marked the first of six this season where the Giants will be wearing Community Heroes jerseys and honouring those who have stood up during these COVID-19 times.

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