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VIDEO: Vancouver Giants win game 1 in best-of-7 against Everett

Schmidt scored twice, Mirwald made 38 saves

A hot power play, two goals from Cameron Schmidt and 38 saves from Brett Mirwald led the Vancouver Giants to a 6-4 game one road win over the Everett Silvertips on Friday night, March 29, to kick off the best-of-seven series.

A crazy opening period saw the clubs combine for six goals, with Vancouver taking a 4-2 lead after 20 minutes. While their advantage was cut to 4-3 in the second, the Giants got a pair of empty net goals late in the third to pull away and snag the victory.

In addition to Schmidt’s pair of goals, also scoring for Vancouver was Kyren Gronick (1st career playoff goal), Ty Halaburda (1st career playoff goal), Logen Hammett (empty-net goal) and Sam Honzek (empty-net goal).

Vancouver got on the board just 43 seconds in, off a defensive zone face-off that sprung Schmidt on a breakaway, something Giants Associate Coach Adam Maglio said was a big factor in their win.

“Everett is a team that starts on time. They start fast and hard. So that was a really, really big goal as far as our belief and momentum in our game. You could just see our guys were up on the bench. It kind of quieted the crowd a little bit, too, early on. I think it paid off long term for us, helping us get the win.”

Midway through the first, the Giants doubled their lead on their first power play of the game, after Titlbach threw it to the net, where it went off Gronick and in for his first career playoff goal.

“Power plays are finicky,” Maglio commented.

“When you get one early like we did, you can see the guys, again, had some jump and belief in it. It came down to we just went into the blue paint. I believe [Halaburda] scored in the blue paint and you could see guys were getting hungry around the net.”

Hemmerling responded for the Silvertips just 15 seconds later after he entered the zone up the middle and fired a shot high past Mirwald.

A few minutes later the Giants found themselves on another power play, but this time it was Hemmerling scoring again to tie the game 2-2, converting on a wrap-around.

Titlbach drew a hooking call not long after the 2-2 goal, leading to a Giants 5-on-3 power play, which they converted on just nine seconds in, thanks to Schmidt’s seeing-eye shot from the high slot.

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Just 14 seconds atter Schmidt made it 3-2, Halaburda made it 4-2 for the G-Men, for his first career playoff goal.

The second period was much calmer, with only Hammell scoring for the Silvertips on a power play to cut Vancouver’s lead to 4-2.

The Giants may have been outshot 18-8 in the third period, but many of those shots came only very late in the frame, which is also when they scored twice into the empty net.

First, Hammett’s clearing attempt off the glass went all the way down and into the yawning cage to make it 5-3 with only 49 seconds left. Then, Honzek made his way into the offensive zone down the left wing and got his second career playoff goal with 35 seconds remaining to make it 6-3.

Tsakumis added a late goal for Everett with 20 seconds left to make the final score 6-4.

Giants’ Cameron Schmidt and Mazden Leslie were named first and third stars of the game.

READ ALSO: Outstanding Vancouver Giants players recognized at team individual awards

Game two is set for Saturday night, March 30 at Angel of the Winds Arena at 6:05 p.m.

Games three and four are scheduled for Wednesday April 3 and Friday April 5, both at 7 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre.