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March 24 2009 at 7:18 AM
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N. W. Bruin  (Login NW_Bruin_GM)

Game 3 - Western Conference
Quarter Finals - 7pm - AM 650

Dave Sheldon
Vancouver Giants

PRINCE GEORGE BC– The Vancouver Giants will look to put a stranglehold on their series versus the Prince George Cougars as the series shifts to Northern BC for the next two games, three and four, on Tuesday and Wednesday evening.

The Giants currently hold a 2-0 series lead on the strength of two big wins, 8-2 on Friday and their latest, a 9-1 blasting of the Cougars on Saturday night at the Pacific Coliseum. Eight different goal scorers would contribute to the victory for the G-Men, and over the first two games, all 18 skaters have registered at least one point.

Just like Game One, the Giants would blow the doors off the game in the second period of Game Two. Holding a 2-0 lead, the Giants would erupt for SIX goals in the second to runaway and hide on the Cougars. Casey Pierro-Zabotel would score his first two goals of the series in Game Two for Vancouver, with other goals added by Mike Berube, Lance Bouma, James Wright, Brendan Gallagher, Nolan Toigo and Garry Nunn. Tyson Sexsmith was solid in goal, stopping all but one of the 29 Prince George shots.

Vancouver would pump 47 shots on the Prince George goal, and have now fired 100 shots at the trip of PG net minders. The Giants have scored five power play goals in their first games, while the Cougars have allowed the Giants on a WHL leading 19 power play opportunities through the first two contests.

EIGHT HEADED MONSTER: The Giants had a record of 8-0 versus the Cougars this season, and had eight different players get the game winning goal. Four defensemen (Manning, Blum, Ross and Regner) and four forwards (Nunn, Pierro-Zabotel, Cunningham and Kane) turned on the red light with the game winners. Kane and James Wright have scored the playoff game winners as the Giants are now a perfecct 10-0 versus the Cougs.

THE DEFENCE NEVER RESTS: The Giants d-corps have outscored the Cougars this season…scoring 15 goals and netting 44 points against. Only one Cougar defender, Dallas Jackson, has more than one point, with four. Game one was no exception as the Giants D, led by Craig Schira, scored four goals.

BOB CLARKE WINNER: Casey Pierro-Zabotel has become the first Vancouver Giant to capture the BOB CLARKE TROPHY as the WHL’s leading scorer. The Giants forward scored 36 goals and added a WHL high 79 assists for 115 points. The 79 assists are the most assists by any WHL player since the 96-97 season (Todd Robinson – Portland - 96) while 115 points is the most since the 00-01 season (Justin Mapletoft – Red Deer – 120).

MOVE TO THE HEAD OF THE CLASS: Evander Kane of the Giants is on many draft lists as the top rated WHL prospect for this year’s NHL Entry Draft in Montreal. Kane finished the season with 48 goals and 48 assists for 96 points in just 61 games played. In fact, all eight players from the Giants team of last year who are eligible for the draft this season have put up career high numbers. Also keep an eye out on Jamie Tucker. This seventeen year old rookie put up great numbers and is sure to be selected in the draft. Tucker finished the year at 18-1-0-1, a 1.51 goals against average a .936 save percentage.

MAKING HAY: Vancouver Giants Head Coach Don Hay now has 445 wins as a WHL head coach. Hay picked up win number 400 back on November 1 versus the Brandon Wheat Kings and has the highest win total of any active WHL Coach. Only Hay’s good friend and former coach comrade Ken Hitchcock has a better winning percentage (.693) than Don Hay’s winning percentage of .656 of any WHL coach who has won at least 200 games. Hay enters the playoffs with a career playoff record of 81-44, which is 3rd all time in wins and third all time in win percentage behind Hitchcock and another former Blazer coach, Bill LaForge. Hay has coached his teams to three WHL titles and three Memorial Cup Championships. The Giants bench boss also picked up a Memorial Cup Win as an Assistant in Kamloops. Only Ernie MacLean has more WHL Titles with five.

WHITE SPOT GIANTS HOCKEY: Dave Sheldon will be joined by Steve Ewen of THE PROVINCE and Ian Walker of THE VANCOUVER SUN on the road trip. You can catch the TERASEN GAS Pre Game Show at 6:30 pm and all of the action at 7 pm. Ian will join the crew with his analysis between periods.

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  1. Vancouver Province article (Ex-Cougar keen to KO former mates) - N. W. Bruin on Mar 24, 2009, 7:20 AM
  3. Vancouver Province article (Bouma wants to fight but he doesn't want to hurt hand again) - N. W. Bruin on Mar 24, 2009, 7:21 AM
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