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Giants Season High 47 Shots – Defeat Tri-City

Photo Credit Rob Wilton

In a pivotal game as the playoffs looms, the Vancouver Giants showcased their resilience, clinching a much-needed victory against the Tri City Americans with a resounding score of 5-1 at the Langley Events Centre on Tuesday night. 

The Giants, propelled by a season-high 47 shots, reclaimed their momentum, positioning themselves back above .500 with an overall record of 30-29-4-0 (64 points). 

This victory solidified their seventh-place standing in the Western Conference, now only two points shy of the fifth-place Kelowna Rockets and one point behind the sixth-place Victoria Royals. 

With five games remaining on their schedule, three of which are hosted at home, the Giants are primed for a decisive push toward the postseason.

A standout performance from the line of Jaden Lipinski, Ty Halaburda, and Cameron Schmidt fueled the Giants’ offensive prowess, combining for an impressive seven points in the triumph. 

Reflecting on the outstanding performance of the Schmidt, Lipinski, and Halaburda line, Mazden Leslie, defenseman for the Vancouver Giants, commended their consistency and effectiveness throughout the season. 

Leslie emphasized their collective speed and agility, highlighting their ability to create scoring opportunities through aggressive forechecking and swift puck retrieval. “I mean, yeah, they’ve been good all year,” Leslie remarked. “They’re just a good line,” he added, underscoring their invaluable contributions to the team’s success.

Schmidt currently sits at 26 goals, and if he reaches 30, it would elevate him to a select group in WHL history, as that is a feat accomplished by only a handful of players in the league’s past three decades.

Notably, Schmidt would join the ranks of esteemed names like Connor Bedard, Brayden Yager, Patrick Marleau, Nolan Patrick, and Brett Connolly, all of whom ascended to become early selections in the NHL Draft. 

Yager, the most recent addition to this illustrious group, was selected 14th overall in 2023, underscoring the potential trajectory for Schmidt, who remains eligible for the 2025 NHL Draft.

Reflecting on Schmidt’s recent surge in scoring, Halaburda, a forward for the Giants, expressed admiration for his teammate’s exceptional talent and game intelligence. 

“Yeah, he’s an insane kid to play with,” Halaburda remarked, highlighting Schmidt’s remarkable ability to read the game and make impactful plays on the ice. “He just makes it real fun to play,” he added, emphasizing not only Schmidt’s prowess as a player but also his positive impact on team dynamics.

The game unfolded with swift precision for the Giants, as they claimed an early lead less than four minutes into the first period.

Matthew Edwards capitalized on an opportunity, firing a shot that deflected off Levis near the net, granting Vancouver a 1-0 advantage. Leslie extended the lead towards the end of the first period, increasing the score to 2-0 during 4-on-4 action.

Although the Americans narrowed the margin in the second period, Vancouver swiftly responded, with Schmidt assisting Lipinski to extend the Giants’ lead to 3-1 before the conclusion of the period. 

The Giants maintained their dominance into the third period, securing two additional goals from Lipinski and Titlbach, ultimately sealing the victory with a final score of 5-1.

In recognition of their standout performances, Ty Halaburda, Mazden Leslie, and Tri City Goaltender Kyle Kelsey were named the game’s three stars, with Halaburda leading the pack with three assists and a notable +3 rating.

Looking ahead, the Giants gear up for a challenging weekend, starting with a home game against the Kamloops Blazers on Friday at 7 p.m., followed by a road rematch with Kamloops on Saturday night at 6 p.m.

The weekend concludes with a Sunday matchup against Prince George at 4 p.m., giving the Giants an opportunity to further solidify their position in the standings as they approach the postseason.


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