Copied from Giants' website (GIANTS Win Game 3! 3 - 2 in OT!)March 25 2009 at 7:16 AM
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|N. W. Bruin (Login NW_Bruin_GM)|
GIANTS Win Game 3!
3-2 in OT!
PRINCE GEORGE BC - One year ago, the Vancouver Giants went into Chilliwack fr Game 3 of their first round series against the Bruins. Craig Cunningham would score in the third overtime period to win it for the Giants on that night. One year later, #14 would do it again as Cunningham would score the overtime winner at 16:44 of overtime to lift the Vancouver Giants to a 3-2 overtime victory over the Prince George Cougars.
The Giants would have to come from behind in this one, as for just the second time in 11 games this season, the Cougars would open the scoring. Tyler Halliday would score his second goal of the season as he was able to beat Tyson Sexsmith late in period one to give the Cougs a 1-0 lead after the opening 20.
Evander Kane would tie things up early in period two, as he would finish off a rebound in front of PG keeper Kevin Armstrong for his second of the post season at 5:31 of the second period. Nolan Toigo would also tally his second of the playoffs, as he would bang home a rebound on a goal mouth scramble to give the Giants their first lead at 11:55. That lead would last 91 seconds, as Brian Matte would skate in down the left hand side a fool Sexsmith low to the glove to tie things up at twos heading to the third period. A scoreless third would see both teams exchange chances but fail to beat the goalies.
In overtime, the Giants outshot the Cougars 15-6, despite having to kill off two big penalties against Lance Bouma and Evander Kane. After the Kane minor had expired, Kane would find himself with a chance deep in PG territory. After he hammered his shot wide, it would ricochet off the boards to the point, where Brett Connolly of the Cougars was unable to handle the puck. Brent Regner would bat the puck forward to keep the puck in the zone. The puck would hop over sticks and find its way onto the stick of Craig Cunningham. Cunningham would walk in to the top of the hash marks and snap a quick shot through Armstrong's pads for the game winner.
The Giants take a 3-0 stranglehold of the series and will attempt to finish things off on Wednesday in Northern BC. You can catch all the WHITE SPOT GIANTS HOCKEY action on AM 650. The Terasen Gas Pre Game Show will get things started at 6:30 pm, while the puck drop will kick things off at 7. Dave Sheldon will have the call of the game and once again be joined by Steve Ewen of the Province and Ian Walker of the Vancouver Sun.
|N. W. Bruin|
Van Province article (Move from blueline to front line is going fine for Nolan Toigo)No score for this post
|March 25 2009, 7:22 AM |
Move from blueline to front line is going fine for Nolan Toigo
Junior A call-up adds a big-body presence
By Steve Ewen, The Province
March 25, 2009
Nolan Toigo seems to be fast-forwarding into a forward.
The 19-year-old Junior A call-up has looked comfortable on the left wing for the Vancouver Giants early in the WHL playoffs, even though he's spent the past two seasons playing defence for the BCHL's Surrey Eagles.
Toigo did get some limited duty up front as a 17-year-old Giants rookie two seasons ago, and those were some of his best games in his first incarnation with the major junior club. He quit Vancouver in October, 2007, and jumped to Surrey soon after.
"I'm enjoying it," Toigo said of playing on a checking unit with Mike Piluso and Mikhail Fisenko. "Practices are going pretty well. All the guys are helping me out, pointing things out and showing me where I have to go.
"I didn't think I would enjoy it this much."
Teams were enjoying playing against a smallish group of Vancouver forwards too much, particularly when the 6-foot-1, 212-pound Lance Bouma was missing for the final 23 games of league play.
That's why coach Don Hay turned to Toigo, a 6-foot-1, 190 pounder with no aversion to mucking and grinding in the corners.
With Bouma and Toigo leading the way, the Giants simply look like a more difficult team to play.
"He's a big-body guy and we don't have a lot of big-body forwards this year," said Giants winger Craig Cunningham, who's a close friend of Toigo's off the ice.
"He gets himself in front of the net and he's done a real good job of getting in on the forecheck and finishing checks."
Toigo added: "You have to be a two-way player at forward. You have to go hard up the ice and back. When you're a D-man, you make your breakout pass and then you make your way up the ice."
Toigo's inclusion has meant that players who have been with the team all season aren't cracking the lineup. That's a role he can understand, since he, too, was a frequent healthy scratch during his first go with the Giants.
"If I was them, I probably would be a little ticked off," Toigo said of his Prince George roommates, rookie defenceman Bronson Maschmeyer and rookie winger J.T. Barnett, both healthy scratches in the playoffs so far.
"But they're great guys. I respect those guys and how they feel. I've been in their position. I've done it before."
© Copyright (c) The Province
|N. W. Bruin|
Vancouver Sun article (Giants win in OT)No score for this post
|March 25 2009, 7:27 AM |
Giants win in OT
put Cougars in stranglehold
By Ian Walker, Vancouver Sun
March 25, 2009
Tonight At Prince George Cougars
Giants lead series 3-0
- - -
The only thing more disturbing than the first-intermission entertainment at the CN Centre on Tuesday was the play of the Vancouver Giants.
Yeah, sure, Vancouver defeated the Prince George Cougars
3-2 in overtime to take a commanding 3-0 series lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference quarter-finals, but the Giants looked nothing like the team of this past weekend, never mind a team that won 57 games in the regular season.
Not that you'd get the coaches or players to admit it, mind you.
All playoff wins come with a pair of rose-coloured glasses.
"I thought we played pretty good," said Giants head coach Don Hay, in defence of his team which finished 66-points ahead of eight-seed Prince George in the regular-season standings and humiliated the Cougars in the first two games of the series, outscoring them 17-3. "Us not scoring on the 5-on-3 early in the game and them scoring early gave them a lot of confidence, but we stayed with it and wore them out."
Craig Cunningham snapped home the game-winner at 16:44 of the first extra period to salvage what would have otherwise been a game to forget for Vancouver.
"I just put my head down and shot it," said Cunningham. "You've got to give P.G. credit, they pushed us really hard tonight.
"They came at us in waves."
Cunningham's heroics came almost a year to the day he scored in triple-OT to defeat the Chilliwack Bruins in Game 3 of last season's first-round playoff matchup.
For the better part of three periods, Vancouver's forwards looked lost, the defence out of sorts and the goaltending questionable at best, sans a brilliant stop by Tyson Sexsmith late in the second period which kept the game tied 2-2. He made another against the flow of play midway through the OT period.
The Giants, who physically dominated the Cougars in the first two games, came up with a no-hitter in Game 3.
Just as concerning was the Giants' failure to generate more than a few quality chances on Cougars goalie Kevin Armstrong. At no time was this more evident than Vancouver's inability to score on a 90-second two-man advantage three minutes into the game. It's only too bad the same is not true of the two middle-aged couples who competed in a french-kissing contest at centre ice following the opening 20 minutes. That was ugly.
The Giants can complete the series sweep with a win in Game 4 tonight. Game 5, if necessary, will be on Friday at Pacific Coliseum.
- Giants winger Garry Nunn, who had four points in the first two contests, was a healthy scratch for Game 3 after breaking unspecified team rules.
© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun
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