Giants vs Kamloops Blazers - Game Notes
March 23, 2010
The Series: The Vancouver Giants and the Kamloops Blazers are playing a best of seven Kal Tire WHL Western Conference Quarter-Final series. The Giants won the season series 6-1-0-1, going 4-0-0-0 on home ice while going 2-1-0-1 in Kamloops. Five games in the season series went to overtime, and four of those needed a shoot out to decide a winner. Itís the second time the Giants and Blazers have met in the playoffs; the first time was in 2004 with the Giants winning that series in five games.
Giants vs. Blazers Schedule
Game one: Fri. March 19 Kamloops @ Vancouver (7:30pm PDT) SHAW TV, AM 650
James Henry scored the game winner in overtime, to give the Giants a 4-3 win and a 1-0 series lead. Vancouver scored first on a shorthanded goal by Craig Cunningham, but then saw the Blazers score three straight to take a 3-1 lead near the end of the first period. Vancouver tied the score on a goal by Tomas Vincour late in the first period, and then by Cunningham late in the 3rd. Henrys goal came just 33 seconds into the extra period. Kamloops got goals from Austin Madaisky, Brendan Ranford and Ryan Hanes. Mark Segal got the win in net. Kurtis Mucha the loss. Vancouver outshot Kamloops 37-14 Vancouver power play was 0 for 9 Kamloops power play was 1 for 3
Game two: Sat. March 20 Kamloops @ Vancouver (7:00pm PDT) SHAW TV, AM 650
The Giants scored 5 straight goals late in the 2nd period and early in the 3rd to turn a 2-1 Kamloops lead into a 6-2 Giants lead, Vancouver went on to win game 2, 6-3 and take a 2-0 series lead. Kevin Connauton and Craig Cunningham both scored twice, Cunningham also had 3 assists for a 5 point game. Brendan Gallagher and James Henry scored the other Giants goals. Ranford, Bortnak and Stretch scored for Kamloops. Mark Segal got the win in net for the Giants, Kurtis Mucha the loss. Vancouver outshot Kamloops 36-24. Vancouver pp 3 for 7 (3 for 16 in series) Kamloops pp 1 for 6 (2 for 9 in series)
Game three: Tues. March 23 Vancouver @ Kamloops (7:00pm PDT) SHAW TV, AM 650
Game four: Wed. March 24 Vancouver @ Kamloops (7:00pm PDT) SHAW TV, AM 650
Game five: Fri. March 26 Kamloops @ Vancouver (7:30pm PDT)** SHAW TV, AM 650
Game six: Sat. March 27 Vancouver @ Kamloops (7:00pm PDT)** SHAW TV, AM 650
Game seven: Tues. March 30 Kamloops @ Vancouver (7:00pm PDT)** SHAW TV, AM 650
(** - if necessary)
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2009-2010 Vancouver-Kamloops Regular Season Series
Vancouver vs Kamloops
Oct. 2 @ Kamloops 2-1 SOL
Oct. 3 vs Kamloops 5-4 OTW
Dec. 11 vs Kamloops 5-3 W
Dec. 12 @ Kamloops 5-4 SOW
Dec. 28 vs Kamloops 6-3 W
Jan. 29 @ Kamloops 2-1 SOW
Mar. 5 @ Kamloops 6-1 L
Mar. 13 vs Kamloops 6-5 SOW
LAST 5 NEXT 5 TOP 5
Mar 20 vs Kamloops 6-3 W Mar 23 at Kamloops Cunningham 4-3-7
Mar 19 vs Kam 4-3 OTW Mar 24 at Kamloops Gallagher 1-4-5
Mar 14 at Seattle 4-3 OTL Mar 26 vs Kamloops Henry 2-0-2
Mar 13 vs Kam 6-5 SOW Mar 27 at Kamloops Connauton 2-0-2
Mar 12 vs Kelowna 4-3 L Mar 30 vs Kamloops Bouma 0-2-2
Special Teams: Vancouverís power play is 3 for 16 for 18.8% in the series. Kevin Connauton leads the Giants in power play goals with 2. Vancouverís penalty killing is at 77.8% giving up 2 goals in 9 shorthanded situations. Craig Cunningham has scored 1 shorthanded goal.
5 on 3, 3 on 5:
5 on 3 PP 3 0
3 on 5 PK 0 0
Giants in the Playoffs: The Giants, in their 9th year of existence, are in the playoffs for the eighth consecutive season, in those eight seasons, they have played in 17 series and have a record of 11 series wins and 6 losses. Overall they have a record of 57 wins and 22 losses in the WHL playoffs.
No. Player GP G A P
14 Craig Cunningham 44 10 15 25
10 Lance Bouma 51 10 11 21
19 James Wright 39 7 9 16
11 Brendan Gallagher 18 2 6 8
22 James Henry 29 4 1 5
18 Milan Kytnar 16 3 1 4
8 Neil Manning 14 0 4 4
15 Nolan Toigo 19 2 1 3
6 Kevin Connauton 2 2 0 2
23 Tomas Vincour 2 1 0 1
20 J.T. Barnett 2 0 1 1
12 Nathan Burns 1 0 1 1
Playoff Firsts: In the 2010 WHL playoffs, the Giants have had 9 players play their first WHL playoff games. On March 19th at Vancouver, Musil, Fenske, Connauton, Barnett, Redmond, Vincour, D.Scholten and Lyon all played their first games, while on March 20th, Burns played his first WHL playoff game.
Cunningham is Player of the Week: On March 22, the Western Hockey League named Giants centre Craig Cunningham as the WHL player of the week for the Week of 15-21. In wins Friday and Saturday over Kamloops to start the playoffs, Cunningham had 4 goals and 3 assists for 7 points and a plus 5, along with being named the first star in both games. Cunningham currently leads the WHL playoffs in scoring with 7 points.
Cunningham Close to Record: Craig Cunningham had 2 goals, 3 assists and 5 points in game two of the Kamloops series. The five points falls one short of the Vancouver Giants franchise record of 6 points in a playoff game set on May 6, 2006 by Gilbert Brule against Moose Jaw. Brule had 3 goals and 3 assists in that game at the Pacific Coliseum.
Wow, Thatís Fast: On March 20th in game two of this series, the Giants and Blazers combined to establish a new WHL playoff record for the fastest three goals by both teams in a WHL playoff game. In the second period the Giants Craig Cunningham scored at 3:58, followed by a goal from James Henry 16 seconds later at 4:14. The Blazers followed that goal up with a goal from Dalibor Bortnak at 4:21, seven seconds after Henryís goal. The three goals came in a span of 23 seconds, breaking the old mark of 25 seconds was set by the Brandon Wheat Kings and Calgary Wranglers in the 1980 playoffs. From the 17:34 mark of the second period to the 4:14 mark of the third period, the Giants scored five goals (Gallagher, Connauton ,Connauton, Cunningham and Henry) in 6 minutes and 40 seconds, add in the Blazers goal from Bortnak and the two teams scored 6 goals in 6 minutes and 47 seconds.
All Stars: Two Vancouver Giants were named to the WHL Western Conference First All Star team. Craig Cunningham was a unanimous selection as one of the three forwards on the team. Cunningham completed his best season in the WHL with 97 points on 37 goals and 60 assists. Cunningham spent the entire season at or near the top of the WHL scoring race, and along with Jordan Eberle in the Eastern Conference were the only unanimous selections to the all star team. Kevin Connauton had a record setting season with the Vancouver Giants (see below) with 24 goals and 72 points. The first year, 19 year old defenseman was named to the first all star team as well.
A Record Setting Season: Kevin Connauton established two new Giants records for most points and most goals in a season by a by a defenseman. On March 12th against Kelowna he recorded two assists to pass than Brent Regnerís, record of 67 points set last season. On January 3rd also against the Rockets, Connauton scored twice giving him 19 goals on the season establishing a new franchise mark for goals by a defenseman. The previous mark was 18, set in the 07-08 season by Jonathon Blum. On January 8th in Edmonton, Connauton became the first Giants defenseman to score 20 goals in a season. Connauton finished the season with 72 points (24 goals and 48 assists) and led all rookies in points, and was tied for first place in points from a defenseman with Tyson Barrie of the Kelowna Rockets.
The Best Defence is a Good Offence: Kevin Connauton and Neil Manning combined to be the highest scoring tandem in scoring among defencemen in the WHL. Connauton had 72 points (24-48-72) while Manning had 56 points (17-39-56), their combined total of 128 points is highest total by two defencemen on the same team in the WHL this season. The Giants two defencemen have been particularly sharp on the power play. Both are among the leaders in power play production in the WHL. Connauton has 16-33-49 with the man advantage, Manning has 14-29-43. Connauton lead all defencemen in power play goals, Manning lead all defencemen in power play assists.
Forty More Wins: Giants finished the season with a record of 41-25-3-3 for 88 points, making the playoffs for the eighth straight season, and winning the B.C.Division for the fifth straight season. The Kamloops Blazers from 1984 to 1988 is the only other team in WHL history to win five straight division championships. The Giants 6-0 win on March 7 at Chilliwack was their 40th of the season. Vancouver has now won 40 games for five straight seasons.
The Giants have named the following players as their Player of the Month award winners this season:
September - Craig Cunningham
October - Craig Cunningham
November - Brendan Gallagher
December - Kevin Connauton
January- Craig Cunningham
February Ė Mark Segal
Hay moves into Top 10 : Vancouver Giants Head Coach Don Hay moved into the top 10 all time in regular season games coached in the Western Hockey League. Hay has coached 795 games, 10th most in WHL history. The only active coach with more games coached than Hay is Saskatoon Blades coach Lorne Molleken Don Hay is already in the top 5 in games won by a coach in WHL history. He is 4th (first among active coaches) with 486 wins 794 games. In the playoffs, Hay is second all time in coaching wins with 93 in 144 games, behind only Ken Hodge who has 101(in 195 games). Hay has won three WHL Championships; only Punch McLean with 5 has won more.
The Roster: The Vancouver Giants roster currently stands at 25 players. The breakdown by position is 15 forwards, 8 defensemen, 2 goalies.
NHL Draft Picks: There are 5 players on the Giants roster that have been drafted by NHL teams. Kevin Connauton (Vancouver í09), Lance Bouma (Calgary í08), Milan Kytnar (Edmí07) Tomas Vincour (Dallas 09), and James Wright (Tampa Bay Ď08)
Olympic Road Trip: With the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, the Giants were forced out of the Pacific Coliseum for a long stretch of time. They played the Kelowna Rockets on January 3rd, and then hit the road until March 12th when they return to the Pacific Coliseum. In between those dates the Giants played 27 games, 21 of them on the road, the other 6 were at their home away from home, the Langley Events Centre. The Giants were 4-1-1-0 at Langley, and 11-9-1-0 on the road. Overall Vancouver went 15-10-1-1 while out of the Coliseum.
2010 Giants Playoff Highs and Lows:
Most Goals Scored: 6 , Mar 20 vs Kam 6-3 win
Most Goals Allowed: 3, Mar 19 vs Kam 4-3 OT win , Mar 20 vs Kam 6-3 win \
Most Power Play Goals Scored: 3, Mar 20 vs Kam
Most Power Play Goals Allowed: 1, Mar 19 vs Kam, Mar 20 vs Kam
Most Shots Taken: 37, Mar 19 vs. Kamloops
Fewest Shots Taken: 36, Mar 20 vs. Kamloops
Most Shots Allowed: 24, Mar 20 vs Kam
Fewest Shots Allowed: 14, Mar 19 vs Kam
Penalty Shots For:
Penalty Shots Against:
Hat Trick For:
Hat Trick Against:
OT Game Winners: James Henry 0:33, first ot,4-3 win over Kamloops, Mar 19