A shootout victory in Edmonton has the Vancouver Giants in unfamiliar territory.
The Giants defeated the host Oil Kings 4-3 in the shootout with the extra point gained nudging Vancouver into second place in the Western Hockey League’s B.C. Division.
Vancouver — 9-1-1-0 in their last 11 games and 21-14-3-2 for 47 points overall — got goals from Tyler Benson and Tyler Ho in the shootout while David Tendeck stopped 37 of 40 shots and then six of seven Edmonton shooters for the crucial second point.
The victory surpassed last season’s win total of 20 games and Vancouver did so in their 40th game. The team is on pace for 84 points over the 72-game regular season, which would earn them their first playoff berth since the 2013/14 campaign. And if they keep at this pace, their point total would be their highest since an 86-point total they earned in 2011/12.
The Giants had a great start to the game on Wednesday night at Edmonton’s Rogers Place as Benson and Aidan Barfoot gave the visitors a 2-0 lead with goals 1:17 apart less than nine minutes in.
Benson’s goal was a career-high 15th for the Edmonton Oilers second round draft pick and Giants captain.
The Oil Kings’ Brett Kemp cut the lead in half in the second but Dylan Plouffe restored the two-goal advantage.
The third period was all Edmonton however, as they fired 16 shots on the Vancouver net and were rewarded with goals from Tomas Soustal and Conner McDonald.
After both teams missed their first attempt in the shootout, Colton Kehler and Benson scored in the second round. Tendeck then came up with five straight saves and with the game on the line, Ho came down the ice in the seventh round and snapped home the winner glove side on Oil Kings’ goalie Josh Declaine.
In addition to the shootout winner, Ho finished the game with a pair of assists for his first career multi-point WHL game.
The Giants continue the road trip with games in Lethbridge and Medicine Hat on Jan. 5 and 6, respectively.