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Giants Secure Victory Over T-birds

The Vancouver Giants skated to a 3-1 victory against the Seattle Thunderbirds on Sunday, Dec. 17, at the Langley Events Centre, delighting a crowd of 4,406. This win marked a substantial achievement for the Giants, securing four out of six available points over the weekend.

The victory further solidified the Giants’ season record, which now stands at 13-18-2-0. On the opposing end, Seattle’s record dropped to 12-15-2-0 following this encounter. 

Colton Roberts swiftly netted the opening goal, swiftly followed by Jaden Lipinski and Ty Halaburda extending the lead, exhibiting exceptional coordination and skill on the power play.

A noteworthy absence from the Giants’ lineup was their captain, Sam Honzek, who earned a spot on Slovakia’s World Junior team this month. In Honzek’s absence, Jaden Lipinski stepped up as the interim captain, a responsibility he humbly acknowledged, stating, “I’m just keeping it warm for Sam until he gets back, and we’ll be cheering him on. 

The Thunderbirds’ lone goal in the game came from the stick of rookie Antonio Martorana. 

A young and promising forward from Edmonton, Martorana’s electric energy on the ice, coupled with his agility, speed, and right-handed shooting style, has positioned him as an up-and-coming talent.

 His performance last season in the Junior Prospects Hockey League, where he notched an impressive 71 points in 89 games, attests to his remarkable skill set.

Tyler Thorpe, now a Giants forward, shed light on the expectations set by Head Coach Manny Viveiros mentioning “He wanted me to play the big guy role… hitting, grinding the puck down the zone, but also knew that I could play the top six forward game. So obviously score goals, get assists, and play top minutes. That was definitely what he wanted from me.” 

Photo Credit: ROB WILTON

He (Thorpe) previously played for the Richmond Sockeyes in the Pacific Junior Hockey League during the 2021-22 season played 33 games finishing with 11 Goals, 6 Assists, accumulating a total of 17 points. 

He transitioned to the BCHL’s Langley Rivermen for the 2022-23 season noting that his stats showed more limited scoring involvement, recording 2 goals and 1 assist in 10 games prior to being called to join the Giants. 

Thorpe mentioned his time with the Langley Rivermen was crucial for his development, aiding his transition to the WHL with the Vancouver Giants during the same season.

Looking ahead, Lipinski, who was drafted by the Calgary Flames in the fourth round of the 2023 NHL Entry Draft, emphasized the team’s focus on playing a full 60 minutes, recognizing it as a key factor that could significantly impact their performance and lead to more victories.

They managed to pull out the victory prior to seeing the Giants embark on the 10-day break for the holidays prior to returning to action on December 27 against the Victoria Royals.

The game drew 4,400 fans that saw them head home in an exceptionally cheerful mood prior to hitting the malls fighting the onslaught of shoppers who were making their last minute gift buying.

On behalf of Jagraj Lalli, Laird Allan, Mark Steffens and myself enjoy your Christmas and enjoy the holiday.


Noteworthy Giants News

Ryan Lin is one of seven Western Hockey League players selected to represent Canada at the 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Gangwon in the Republic of Korea.

Hockey Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee announced the men’s hockey roster Thursday afternoon.

Lin, 15, was the sixth overall selection by the Giants in the 2023 WHL Prospects Draft. 

The defenceman is playing for Delta Hockey Academy’s U18 prep team this season, currently leading them in scoring with 25 points in 19 games (7G-18A). Amongst all defencemen in the U18 prep division in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League, Lin’s 25 points rank third.

Photo Credit: ROB WILTON

“Congratulations to Ryan on being selected to represent Canada at the 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games,” Giants General Manager Barclay Parneta said. “Wearing the Maple Leaf at the Games will surely be a special experience for him. The Giants wish Ryan and the rest of Team Canada good luck next month.”

Five WHL Clubs will be represented by a prospect on Canada’s men’s hockey roster for the 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games. 

The Medicine Hat Tigers and Spokane Chiefs boast two players each, while the Prince Albert Raiders, Vancouver Giants and Victoria Royals will also be represented by one player each.

Ryan Smith, Head Coach of the Spokane Chiefs, was also announced as the head coach of Canada’s squad.

The 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games are scheduled for January 19 through February 1, 2024. This marks the fourth edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games and the first in Asia.

The men’s hockey tournament runs from Saturday, January 27 through Wednesday, January 31, 2024.


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He was recognized by Ravi Kahlon, BC’s MLA Minister for Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation in September 11, 2017.
In December 2022 he was Awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Pin.
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