The Vancouver Giants are two wins away from their first trip to the Western Hockey League championship series in 12 years thanks to a dramatic third period comeback on Saturday night.
The Giants scored four goals in a 3:21 span en route to a 4-2 victory over the Spokane Chiefs to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference final series. Games three and four take place on Tuesday and Wednesday in Spokane.
Dawson Holt launched the comeback at the 5:15 mark and captain Jared Dmytriw tied the game less than two minutes later. The 20-year-old then sent the Langley Events Centre crowd of 4,746 into a frenzy when he beat Chiefs goalie Bailey Brkin again 22 seconds later.
Yannik Valenti capped the explosion with a power play tally. It was his first goal since Nov. 16.
The Giants outshot the Chiefs 44-26 with David Tendeck making 24 saves.
Vancouver had opened the series on Friday with a 4-1 victory.
Seafair alumni Lukas Svejkovsky, Owen Hardy and Holt gave the hosts a a 3-0 lead by the early stages of the second period. Top 10 NHL 2019 draft prospect Bowen Byram capped a three-point night with a late insurance goal.
The Giants are looking to return to the WHL finals for the first time since falling to Medicine Hat Tigers in seven games back in 2012. They revenged the loss by capturing the Memorial Cup on home ice.
The WHL Eastern Conference finals has the Edmonton Oil Kings and Prince Albert Raiders tied at 1-1 with the teams headed to the Alberta capital for games three and four, also on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Chiefs roster includes Richmond native Matt Leduc. The 19-year-old blueliner last played locally with the Bantam A1 Blues before taking his career to the Burnaby Winter Club Academy. He was selected by the Chiefs in the second round (30th overall) in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft.