The 2009-10 Vancouver team was also the last to win a playoff series.For the first time since Brendan Gallagher’s sophomore WHL season, the Vancouver Giants have captured the WHL’s B.C. Division regular season pennant.
D-Jay Jerome of the Victoria Royals tries to wheel away from the checking of Davis Koch of the Vancouver Giants on Saturday in Victoria. Picture: Jay Wallace
Jay Wallace /
The Victoria Royals edged the Giants 5-4 in a shootout on Saturday night at Save-On-Foods Memorial Area, but the single point for Vancouver means that the Royals can’t catch them in the standings in their remaining league games.The Royals had nine games left as of Sunday morning. Vancouver carried a 40-14-2-2 mark into a 3:05 p.m. meeting Sunday at Save-On with Victoria, who were 19 points back with their 31-25-1-2 mark.It’s the first B.C. Division championship for Vancouver since 2009-10, which was second season for Gallagher. He went on to become the franchise’s all-time leading leader in goals (136) and points (280). Now 26, he’s a part of the Montreal Canadiens’ core group.Other members of that Giants team included forwards Craig Cunningham, James Henry, Lance Bouma and James Wright and defenceman Kevin Connauton, Neil Manning and Nolan Toigo, along with net minder Mark Segal.That team won the final of five straight B.C. Division titles for the Giants.That’s also the last Giants’ team to win a playoff series. They made it to the Western Conference final, where they lost in six games to the Tri-City Americans.Vancouver made the playoffs last year for the first time in four springs, losing out in seven games in the first round to the Royals.The B.C. Division honour secures Vancouver one of the top two seeds in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. The top three teams from the B.C. and U.S. divisions advance, plus the two next-best records, regardless of division.Going into their matinee with the Royals, Vancouver was four points in back of the Everett Silvertips (42-14-2-2) for top spot in the conference, and the Giants had two games in hand.The Portland Winterhawks (37-17-3-3) are in the hunt as well, four points behind Vancouver to start the day. They, too, had played two more games than Vancouver.The Giants haven’t won the conference regular season title since 2008-09, when they set a club record for points with 119, thanks to their 57-10-2-3 mark. That team also went three rounds in the playoffs, losing in the conference final in six games to the Kelowna Rockets.Top spot in the conference meets the first wild card team to open the playoffs, while second place meets the second. The Tri-City Americans (33-22-2-1) hold down the first wild card currently, while the Seattle Thunderbirds (24-28-5-2) are second, 14 points in back of Tri-City. The Americans also have a game in hand on the Thunderbirds.Everett’s remaining eight games includes two each with Tri-City, Seattle and Victoria, plus single meetings with Portland and the Spokane Chiefs. Five of those games are on the road.Besides the meeting with Everett, Portland has two-game sets with Kelowna, Seattle and the Prince George Cougars, as well a single meeting with Spokane. They have four games on the road.Vancouver’s nine games after Sunday include three each with both Kelowna and the Kamloops Blazers and single meetings with Spokane, Tri-City and Seattle. They have six games on the road.CLICK HERE to report a typo. Is there more to this story? We’d like to hear from you about this or any other stories you think we should know about. Email firstname.lastname@example.org