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VIDEO: Vancouver Giants give fans something to cheer

At-home game win over Kelowna Rockets

Cameron Schmidt had two goals, Sam Honzek had two assists and Brett Mirwald made 30 saves for the Vancouver Giants in a 4-2 win over the Kelowna Rockets on Sunday afternoon, Jan. 21, in front of 4,447 fans at the Langley Events Centre.

Mazden Leslie and Tyler Thorpe also scored for the G-men.

Giants Head Coach Manny Viveiros said their game has improved.

“I like where we’re going,”Viveiros commented. “The kids are understanding what we have to do on a nightly basis to be successful.”

“Our players have been really conscientious of when there’s a puck turned over, our forwards are coming back. [When we] look at the game film after a game, we’ve got five guys in the picture. And if there is a breakdown, there’s layers there to protect them.”

Kelowna got goals from Kayden Longley and Trae Johnson.

Rockets opened the scoring with Langley’s third of the season at 6:14 of the first period.

It took the Giants less than a minute to respond, after Colton Alain’s shot from the right point created a rebound for Schmidt.

Just under three minutes later, Leslie put the Giants ahead, after he banked one off goaltender Jake Pilon’s shoulder and into the back of the net to make it 2-1.

Neither team would score in the second period.

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Vancouver extended their lead 4:44 into the third period, after Thorpe knocked down a pass at center and fed a pass up to Ty Halaburda, who quickly snapped a shot towards the net. Although the shot missed high, it ricocheted off the end glass and landed in front for Thorpe, who whacked it home for his team-leading 21st goal of the season.

Johnson responded for the Rockets just one minute later to cut Vancouver’s lead to 3-2, but it was the Giants who then stole the momentum right back, as Schmidt netted his second of the game 51 seconds after Kelowna’s goal to restore the two-goal advantage.

Honzek had the primary assist on Schmidt’s 13th of the season, as he made a no-look backhand pass from the right corner to Schmidt at the far side post.

Giants held on for the 4-2 win.

All three stars of the game were Giants: Cameron Schmidt, Sam Honzek and Brett Mirwald.

Next up, Giants play the Victoria Royals three times in three days, starting Friday, Jan. 26th at home at 7 p.m. Then they’ll travel to the Island for two more on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.

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