Dan Elliott

Fresh off a bronze medal performance at the 2012 World Junior Championships, Brendan Gallagher returned to the Vancouver Giants line up Saturday night and put up 7 points in an 8-4 victory over the Portland Winterhawks. Gallagher had 3 goals and 4 assists to give him 53 points in 29 games this season. It seemed only fitting for Gallagher to have the biggest night of his career in front of Montreal Canadiens Hall of Famer Guy Lafleur, who no doubt will let the Habs brass know they were smart to lock up the Giants #11.

Just like the first meeting of the season the Giants jumped out to an early lead getting goals from Nathan Burns and Brendan Gallagher to go up 2-0 6:36 into the game. Portland would score a power play goal late in the frame to cut the lead to 2-1 through 20 minutes. Adam Morrison was stellar stopping 19 of 20 shots he faced in the first period.

Once again, the Giants wasted little time getting on the board in the second period as Brett Kulak’s point shot went off a Winterhawks player and in the net to give Vancouver a 3-1 lead. The turning point of the game came just over 8 minutes into the second period when Morrison stopped Taylor Peters on a shorthanded breakaway, then Brendan Gallagher went the other way for his 2nd goal of the night put the Giants up 4-1. Wes Vannieuwenhuizen would make it 5-1 through 40 minutes with his 2nd goal in his last 3 games.

After the Winterhawks cut the lead to 5-2 on the power play, Gallagher potted his 3rd goal of the night for the hat trick and a 6-2 advantage. Marek Tvrdon and Jordan Martinook would round out the scoring for the Giants in the game, making it a 8-4 final. James Henry had 4 assists on the night, while Morrison finished with 40 saves for his league leading 24th win of the season. Special teams were big as the Giants went 3-for-5 on the power play, while the Winterhawks were 3-for-9.

The Giants are back in action Tuesday January 10 when they play host to the Prince George Cougars in the 8th and final meeting of the season. Vancouver is 6-1-0-0 vs. the Cougars this season. Tuesday is also the WHL’s trade deadline. The last deal can be made at 12:00 pm PST. Game time is 7:00 pm at the Pacific Coliseum. The pregame show begins at 6:30 pm on AM 650.