Vancouver Giants start with win, get boost with return of NHL Zack Ostapchuk


Ostapchuk, an Ottawa Senators second-round pick this summer, signed his entry-level contract with Ottawa last week, joining Justin Sourdif (Florida Panthers) and Fabian Lysell (Boston Bruins) as the Giants with contracts

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The Vancouver Giants won their first game convincingly and there are more reinforcements on the way.


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The Ottawa Senators announced Sunday morning that they were reassigning 2021 second-round pick Zack Ostapchuk to the Giants. The 18-year-old forward, entering his third season with Vancouver and performing so well at Ottawa training camp that they signed him for a three-year entry contract, will play in any situation for the Giants.

He joins a Vancouver team that limited the Victoria Royals to just 16 shots in a 5-0 win to kick off the Western Hockey League campaign on Saturday at Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena in Victoria.

Ostapchuk’s absence along with injuries and suspensions meant that Vancouver started the game to a regular squad skater of 18, and they then lost center Justin Sourdif to misconduct in the game. at 5:51 of the second period after he tried to get out. the helmet of a Victoria player during a skirmish.


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Prince George Cougars vs. Vancouver Giants

7:30 p.m., Langley Events Center, Radio: 650 AM

The Giants return to action with their home opener on Friday, facing the Prince George Cougars at the Langley Events Center.

“There are a lot of different options,” Giants coach Michael Dyck said of what he plans to do with player deployment going forward. “It’s about getting back to the drawing board and getting back to the chemistry we had before the guys left for pro camps. I liked what we had then.

“I’m really excited to see where we can go with this. “


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Oddly enough, Dyck was among the missing against the Royals, suspended for one game due to the row brawl in the dying moments of a 3-1 win over the Cougars in the Vancouver preseason final on September 24. at Maple Ridge.

Forwards Colton Langkow and Kyle Bochek were also out on Saturday with a one-game suspension for roles in the incident.

They’ll be eligible for a comeback on Friday and the Giants are hoping defenseman Brenden Pentecost (upper body injury), who was injured in the pre-season game against the Cougars, can do the same.

Defenseman Cade McNelly started the season with four games left on his five-game suspension last spring with the Seattle Thunderbirds. He will be missed on Friday, along with an Oct. 16 visit from the Kamloops Blazers and an Oct. 22 trip to Kamloops. He will make his Vancouver debut on October 23 when the Kelowna Rockets face LEC.


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The Giants, with associate coach Keith McCambridge at the head of the bench, asked Sourdif to cross Fabian Lysell and Adam Hall and Ty Thorpe between Payton Mount and Justin Lies for their two best forwards to begin proceedings on Saturday. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Ostapchuk, which is a speedster and at its best when driving the puck to the net, should take one of those spots.


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Ostapchuk became the third Giant to sign an entry-level contract this year, after Sourdif, who is a Florida Panthers prospect, and Lysell, who was a first-round pick, 21st overall, of the Boston Bruins. in this summer’s draft.

Ostapchuk was the seventh pick in the second round, becoming the 39th overall. He played an exhibition game last Wednesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“Obviously, I am extremely excited to find the G-men again,” Ostapchuk explained via text. “I think we are capable of having a special season.”

Deaf, Hall and defenseman Connor Horning collected one goal and one assist for the Giants against Victoria. Mount and defenseman Mazden Leslie had the other scorers. Lysell got an assist.

Jesper Vikman turned back 16 shots into the Vancouver net. He became the Giants’ first goalie since Jamie Tucker in a 30-save, 4-0 win over the Everett Silvertips to kick off the 2008-09 campaign to record a shutout on opening night.

Vancouver is also without winger Cole Shepard (hip surgery). The hope is that he will be ready to play in November.

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Twitter: @SteveEwen



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