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Giants O/T Thriller – Blazers Advance

Photo Credit Doug Westcott

With hockey season coming to an abrupt end for both the Vancouver Canucks as well as the Vancouver Giants, one group of players are focused on making the NHL, while pro players are wondering if they might have a change of address.

Games are played in various communities, but regardless it’s hard to forget about April 6,2018 when the Humboldt Broncos organization and what they went through.

It’s still hard to understand how this could happen but in reality it’s all about training and I for one know that the drivers who travel the highway’s from town to town are experienced, but not all.

Today, and every day, we remember and pay tribute to the 2017-2018 Humboldt Broncos players, staff and families.

In their honour today we talk about what it means to be a Humboldt Bronco and reflect on the team, the organization and the community which includes the billet families.

Games are focused on winning at all costs regardless of the cost, but how does one put any price on this?

Life is far too precious and as we reflect on this we must remember that this one trip stopped the hockey world.

Various teams and associations paid tribute for the past five years and those lost will remain in the hearts and minds for years to come.

On the anniversary of this the Vancouver Giants are playing the Kamloops Blazers in what many consider as their last season of the 2022-23 season.

Kamloops are hosting the 2023 Memorial Cup (branded as the 2023 Memorial Cup presented by Kia for sponsorship reasons) and is a four-team round-robin format played May 26th-June 4th in Kamloops at the Sandman Centre from May 26–June 4, 2023.

In the first three games the Giants have been outscored by a 19-1 margin but that wouldn’t be the same in game four that many were not shocked by.

This contest saw the Blazers start Dylan Ernst between the pipes while the Giants started Stockholm’s Jesper Vikman who was selected by Vegas in the NHL Draft 5th round 125th, but in the Import Draft he was selected in the first round 8th overall

The Giants came out with lots of jump grabbing the first of the game  with Ty Thorpe his first of the game  putting them on the board at 5:06 with helpers from Honzek and  Leslie.

Try as they might they were unable to curtain the offensive power of Kamloops as they got even at 6:51 with Hofer (4) while on the PP.

Giants Thorpe got his second of the game at 19:29 with Palmeri and “tender” Vikman getting assists on the go-ahead goal.

One would think that scoring late in the period would see the lead carry over to the second, but that wasn’t the case as the Blazers got even at 19:59 with Levi getting their second marker.

The first ended with the Blazers outshooting the Giants by a 19-12 margin and in conversation with some of the scouts on hand they felt it was their best period of the series to date.

The second was scoreless, but the third saw Thorpe get his “hat trick” goal only 52 seconds in with Honzek and Anderson setting him up.

The frenzy continued only to have Vikman get hammered with shot after shot unable to stop the onslaught of Blazers to the delight of their fans on hand showing support.

The go ahead goal for the Blazers saw Fort Saskatchewan’s  Zellweger score at 3:45 forcing the G-men to dig deep knowing that their season was on the line.

With solid play and continuing to attack the net it wasn’t until the 15:00 minute mark of the 3rd that saw Skyler Bruce even the game at four that saw the Blazers pressure Vikman trying to end the series and close out the season for the Giants.

You can tell that the Blazers were trying to eliminate the G-men and given the shot total after three periods it was 41-28 and if it wasn’t for the stellar play of Vikman it would have been done and done!!

One can only imagine what Coach Michael Dyck would have said between periods knowing it could be over in a heartbeat on a single shot, but knowing the Giants organization losing isn’t an option.

So heading to O/T this contest could have gone either way,and try as they might it came down to a last second shot that saw the Blazers advance eliminating the Giants.

It clearly came down to not just talent, but one might say horse power that saw the Giants outshot in O/T by a whopping 26-7 through 19:59 given that the winning goal was scored with 1.5 seconds left.

Heading to O/T is something that was set to happen and regardless of the outcome for dollar value you know that as Arnold said ‘I’ll be back” which they will.

The final shot tally was 67 to 35 that saw the Blazers go 2-5 on the PP, while the Giants were 2-6.

Three Stars in this game went to the Vancouver Giants 20 year old players which was the way  it was meant to finish off, well they could have played one more game, but then their fans wouldn’t be entertained to a thriller.

Three Stars:

  • 1st        Ty Thorpe
  • 2nd\      Jesper Vikman
  • 3rd        Dylan Anderson

We wish them all the best moving on in their career, regardless of where they play.

Thanks to the Giants for such an exciting 2022-23 season of hockey!!!


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