The Vancouver Giants defeated the top team in the WHL, the Kamloops Blazers, 7-5 Friday night at the Pacific Coliseum on Canadian Direct Insurance Legends Night featuring Gordie Howe. Fittingly Jordan Martinook was named first star after earning the Gordie Howe hat trick. With the win Vancouver evens the season series at two wins apiece.
The Giants got off to the perfect start scoring 3 goals in the first 10:02 of the game. Austin Vetterl, Brett Kulak, and Nathan Burns found the back of the net. The Blazers though would get on the board before the period was out, scoring their league leading 16th shorthanded goal of the season to cut the lead to 3-1 after 20 minutes.
In the second period, the Blazers started on the power play and they would make the Giants pay, finding the back of the net to make it a 3-2 game less then two minutes into the period. They would get another to tie the game at 3-3. The Giants though would go back on the attack as Brendan Gallagher tipped home his team leading 30th goal of the season, beating Cole Cheveldave who had lost his catching glove, to put the home side up 4-3. Jordan Martinook extended the lead to 5-3 with his 28th goal of the season while playing 4-on-4, but once again the Blazers would cut the lead to one with a late goal in the frame. Vancouver led 5-4 after 40 minutes.
Knowing full well the next goal would be the biggest of the night, Nathan Burns beat Cheveldave five hole for his second of the night, and 10th of the season to restore the Giants two goal lead 4:40 into the third period. The Blazers would not go away, cutting the lead to 6-5 just past the midway point of the period. Martinook would ice the game with his 2nd of the night with 1:26 left in the game to give the Giants a 7-5 victory, their 30th win of the year. Taylor Makin chipped in with 3 assists in the victory while Adam Morrison made 31 saves in net.
The Giants now head to Portland for a pair of game vs. the Winterhawks Saturday and Monday. Puck drop is 7:00 pm in Portland. The pregame show begins at 6:30 pm on AM 650.