Dan Elliott

The Vancouver Giants kicked off the second half of the season with a 4-3 shootout victory over the Kamloops Blazers Tuesday night at the Pacific Coliseum. Newcomer Alexander Kuvaev scored the shootout winner, along with a goal in the second period to help the Giants earn their 23rd win of the season and move to within 2 points of the Blazers for 1st place in the BC division.

Playing their first game in 10 days the Giants got on the board first as Jordan Martinook scored his 21st goal of the season 4:55 into the opening frame. The Giants outshot Kamloops 13-7 in the first period and led 1-0 through 20 minutes.

Making his debut in a Vancouver Giants jersey, Alexander Kuvaev made an immediate impact, pouncing on a rebound for his 1st goal of the year and more importantly giving the Giants a 2-0 lead. The Blazers would get on the board before the second period was out to cut the lead to 2-1 through 40 minutes in favour of Vancouver.

With Kuvaev in the penalty box to start the third period, the Blazers wasted little time tieing the game up; 11 seconds into the period Austin Madaisky beat Adam Morrison to make it a 2-2 game. Just over 2 minutes later Nathan Burns, playing his first game since November 12, banged in a rebound for his 5th goal of the year to put the Giants in front 3-2. However, the lead would not survive as Dylan Willick scored the equalizer with 2:19 left in regulation to send the game into overtime.

Neither team had any quality chances in the extra five minutes, so a shootout was needed. Adam Morrison stopped all four Blazers shooters and Kuvaev scored the winner to give the Giants a 4-3 victory, improving to 5-1 this season in the shootout.

These two teams will do it all over again tomorrow night at the Interior Savings Centre in Kamloops. Game time is 7:00 pm. The pregame show begins at 6:30 pm on AM 650.