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On the rebound, Vancouver Giants down Kamloops Blazers

Ninth consecutive win on home ice follows loss to Kelowna

Cameron Schmidt’s hat-trick led the way for the Vancouver Giants on Saturday night, Feb. 24, in a commanding 7-1 win over the Kamloops Blazers in front of more than 4,200 fans at the Langley Events Centre.

It was the rebound the team was looking for, following a road trip loss to Kelowna the previous night.

Schmidt called his first hat-trick a “surreal moment.”

“After the tough loss to Kelowna yesterday, we just wanted to battle back and we stayed much more disciplined tonight,” Schmidt remarked. “[We] stayed out of the box and we out-shot them, which is a change, so that was definitely a key to the win.”

Vancouver’s win is their ninth consecutive on home ice and brings their record to 11-2-1 in their last 14 games. Now sixth in the WHL Western Conference, the Giants’ overall record is now 28-26-3-0.

In addition to Schmidt’s three goals, London Hoilett scored twice for the G-Men while Tyson Zimmer and Adam Titlbach also found the back of the net.

Zimmer thought the team “played a really good game throughout the whole lineup. We just played a fully structured game. We kind of enforced that after the loss last night. We took it to them and shot a lot of pucks.”

Scoring the lone goal for Kamloops was rookie Tommy Lafreniere, which was his first in the WHL in just his second career game.

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All three stars of the game were Giants:

Schmidt, Zimmer and Jaden Lipinski.

Schmidt’s hat-trick gives him 22 goals on the season in 48 games, putting him just three goals shy of tying the Giants franchise record for goals in a season by a 16-year-old rookie, set in 2003-04 by Gilbert Brule (25 goals in 67 games)

VIDEO: A fatigued Vancouver Giants pull off a win at home against Spokane

On Friday, Andrew Cristall led the Kelowna Rockets to a 4-1 win over the Vancouver Giants at Prospera Place, scoring a natural hat-trick in the second period.

Giants’ lone goal on Friday came from Connor Levis, his 19th of the season and ninth in 16 games since joining Vancouver at the January 10 trade deadline.

Associate Coach Adam Maglio said the team was “inconsistent.”

“Good first [period], not a great second, a bit better third,” Maglio summarized.

“We’ve got to keep our penalties down,” Maglio commented. “We can’t take unnecessary ones. I didn’t like a few that were kind of 80 feet from the play, behind the play, unnecessary and those ones usually hurt you.

Next, Giants have a three-in-three next on the docket, as they’ll play Kelowna at home on Friday, Kamloops on the road on Saturday and finish with a matinee at the LEC on Sunday against Seattle.