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 Vancouver Giants

Giants' Strong 3rd Not Enough in 3-2 Loss to Blazers

March 3, 2024 - Western Hockey League (WHL)
Vancouver Giants News Release

Kamloops Blazers' Vojtech Vochvest versus Vancouver Giants' London Hoilett
Kamloops Blazers' Vojtech Vochvest versus Vancouver Giants' London Hoilett
(Vancouver Giants, Credit: Allen Douglas)

Kamloops, B.C. - Another slow start plagued the Vancouver Giants on Saturday night in a 3-2 loss to the Kamloops Blazers.

The defeat drops the Giants' overall record to 28-27-4-0 (60 points), which is tied with the Kelowna Rockets for sixth place in the Western Conference Standings. Vancouver has one game in hand on Kelowna.

Goaltender Matthew Hutchison was fabulous for the Giants with 44 saves, but Vancouver was unable to generate much offence until the third period, trailing the game 3-1 and getting out-shot 34-10 after 40 minutes. They did get one goal back in the final 20 minutes, but that was as close as they would come.

Sam Honzek (9th) and London Hoilett (9th) scored for the Giants.

Jordan Keller, Logan Bairos and Matteo Koci had the goals for the Blazers.


Kamloops played a very strong first period, generating a lot of offensive zone time and outshooting the Giants 18-7.

They also got the game's first goal, finding the back of the net four minutes in off the rush on the power play, as Keller took a pass from Emmitt Finnie as he was heading to the slot and backhanded it home.

Vancouver responded with a power play goal of their own at the 10:05 mark of the first period, after Connor Levis launched a pass from the right boards to a streaking Honzek, who was heading to the net and had it deflect off him and go in to tie the game 1-1.

In the second period, two Blazer defencemen found the back of the net.

First, just 27 seconds into the middle frame, Bairos point shot found its way through some traffic to beat Hutchison clean, giving the home side the 2-1 edge.

Then, with 2:31 to go in the period, Koci would fire home a rebound off a blocked shot from the left circle to increase Kamloops' lead to 3-1.

After 40 minutes, Kamloops led in shots on goal 34-10.

Vancouver pushed back in the third, getting to within a goal at the 7:08 mark, after Hoilett was in the right place at the right time, tapping the puck in from the crease after Wyatt Wilson held the zone and fired a quick point shot to the net.

The Giants would pull the goalie with just under three minutes remaining and create plenty of opportunities but rookie goaltender Jesse Sanche turned away several good chances to help hold off the Giants late push and get the win.


"We didn't have our legs, we didn't have our jump early on. Obviously found it a little bit in the third tonight. Kamloops played us hard tonight. Our game on the walls in those tough areas wasn't up to par...We just started to skate [in the third]. I think when you arrive early on pucks and you can get there first and get second man support around it, you're going to have your chances of creating offence and sustained o-zone time. I thought we were skating a little bit better, but our wall work coming out of our own end, our wall work down low in the first two periods, that's where they dominated the game early on and that's how they created their chances. They were a hungry team tonight." -Associate Coach Adam Maglio


SOG: VAN - 7/3/15 = 25 | KAM - 18/16/13 = 47

PP: VAN - 1/1 | KAM - 1/1

Face-Offs: VAN - 40 | KAM - 34


1st: VAN - Logan Bairos - 1G, 1A, 6 SOG, +1

2nd: KAM - Jordan Keller - 1G, 1A, 4 SOG, +2

3rd: VAN - Matthew Hutchison - 44 Saves on 47 Shots


Vancouver: Loss - Matthew Hutchison (44 saves / 47 shots)

Kamloops: WIN - Jesse Sanche (23 saves / 25 shots)


The Giants finish their 3-in-3 on Sunday with a matinee at the LEC against Seattle at 4 PM.

Images from this story

Kamloops Blazers' Vojtech Vochvest versus Vancouver Giants' London Hoilett
Kamloops Blazers' Vojtech Vochvest versus Vancouver Giants' London Hoilett

(Allen Douglas)

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