4 Giants face off against Russia's best

BOB MACKIN -- 24 Hours Vancouver

, Last Updated: 9:23 AM ET

Vancouver Giants ended November with a 1-0 overtime loss to the Portland Winterhawks on Sunday.

Giants finished the month with six wins in 11 games. Three of the club's five November losses were post-regulation.

The club enters December without Dustin Slade, the temperamental goaltender who showed maturity in backstopping the Giants to their first Western Hockey League championship last spring. He left Nov. 20 in an apparent dispute over playing time after winning nine of his 12 games. Slade's departure makes 17-year-old Tyson Sexsmith the undisputed No. 1 netminder.

Four Giants, however, have one more game this month. Spencer Machacek, J.D. Watt, Cody Franson and Brendan Mikkelson join the best of the rest of the WHL tomorrow night to face the touring Russian all-stars. Face-off is 7 p.m. at Chilliwack's Prospera Centre. The penultimate game of a six-game cross-country tour will be carried live on Sportsnet.

Giants host Prince George Cougars Friday at 7:30 p.m. to begin December and visit the Seattle Thunderbirds on Saturday and Kamloops Blazers on Sunday.

n Chilliwack Bruins were 5-0 and 3-2 losers last weekend in a pair of games with the host Prince George Cougars. Bruins have lost 10 of their last 11 games.

n Meanwhile, tough times continue for the Lower Mainland teams in the junior A B.C. Hockey League's Coastal conference.

Burnaby Express, the reigning national champion, is in the division's cellar with an 11-16 record. Surrey Eagles (11-15) play their final game of the month tonight against the visiting Victoria Grizzlies at 7 p.m. Langley Chiefs (14-18) host the Alberni Valley Bulldogs tomorrow at 7 p.m.


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