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Vancouver Sun article (Giants hope to continue stashing their momentum during 'Movember')

November 4 2011 at 6:02 AM
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N. W. Bruin  (Login NW_Bruin_GM)

Giants hope to continue stashing their momentum during 'Movember'

By Elliott Pap, Vancouver Sun

November 4, 2011 3:08 AM

The Vancouver Giants are sailing to Victoria today for a WHL weekend doubleheader against the Royals and they are taking some added baggage - their Movember moustaches.

For the second straight year, the Giants have embraced the Movember prostate cancer awareness movement.

Some of the teenage players have difficulty sprouting respectable 'staches but they are all trying. There is no other choice.

"Everyone on the team takes part," said alternate captain Brendan Gallagher, who was personally touched by prostate cancer one year ago when his grandfather died of the disease. "Even if you can't really grow facial hair, like me, you have to contribute. Guys have fun with it and there are some pretty good ones that can make you laugh.

"It's only for a month and everybody on the team enjoys doing it. We all know the real reason for this - to help raise awareness."

Gallagher conceded the players are not above using a little colouring aid to help them along. He doesn't consider this cheating.

"No, it is not cheating," he harrumphed. "I was one of those guys who had to do it last year. It's anything you can do to get noticed. It's part of the game."

Gallagher figures the unofficial title of best 'stache on the Giants will eventually became a two-man race between defenceman Neil Manning, 20, and forward Jordan Martinook, 19.

Both have dark features and neither needs artificial help. Dalton Sward, 17, is a long shot candidate.

"I voted Neil's the best last year," said Gallagher.

Meanwhile, the Giants will attempt to beat the Royals for a fourth time this season, although all three victories have come at home. In their first visit to the provincial capital Sept. 24, they were beaten 5-3.

Coach Don Hay has his troops playing their best hockey of the season. They've won five of six and two of their last three on the road. In the six-game run, they allowed just 11 goals.

"We've been doing a lot of good things," Hay said. "I think we've been doing a better job checking and playing our positions and not giving up a lot of offensive opportunities. Our starts have been better and we've been able to play with the lead more often. So everybody is playing a lot more efficient game and that's been a big reason why we've had success."

If the Giants are to prevail, they will have to shut down Royals centre Kevin Sundher, the Surrey native and Buffalo Sabres' draft pick.

Sundher, 19, has 32 points in 17 games and is tied for second in the individual scoring race.

G-NOTES: The Giants will be taking the minimum 20 players to Victoria as forwards Anthony Ast (head), Scott Cooke (wrist) and Matt Bellerive (shoulder) and defenceman Blake Orban (shoulder) aren't ready to go ... Rightwinger Jackson Houck has served his two-game suspension for a boarding major and will suit up against the Royals ... The Giants and Royals have identical 9-7-0-1 records.


Tonight vs. Victoria Royals

7 p.m. at Memorial Centre

am 650

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

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