Halaburda Hat-Trick Powers Giants to 6-3 Win

December 2, 2023 - Western Hockey League (WHL) - Vancouver Giants News Release

Vancouver Giants' Ty Halaburda and Tri-City Americans' Jordan Gavin and Jake Sloan on the ice
Vancouver Giants' Ty Halaburda and Tri-City Americans' Jordan Gavin and Jake Sloan on the ice
(Vancouver Giants, Credit: John Keller)

Kennewick, WA - The Vancouver Giants exploded for six goals on Saturday night in a 6-3 win over the Tri-City Americans, getting a hat-trick from Ty Halaburda and 39 saves from Matthew Hutchison.

With the win, the Giants' record improves to 10-15-2-0 this season.

Vancouver's power play came through in a big way in the third period with two goals, first when Halaburda tied the game 3-3 on a crease scramble and then when Cameron Schmidt came around the net and banked it off Kelsey's shoulder from a near impossible angle.

Halaburda then scored his third of the night a few minutes later to make it a 5-3 game, before Sam Honzek put one into the empty net for his second of the game, making it a 6-3 final score.

Scoring for the Americans was Lukas Dragicevic, Cash Koch and Carter MacAdams.


Halaburda got the Giants on the board just 44 seconds in, after Titlbach found him streaking to the net off an odd-man rush and fed him a perfect pass that he put home on the short side to open the scoring.

Midway through the period, the Americans would even the score on an odd-man rush of their own, after Dragicevic took a drop feed from Max Curran and beat Hutchison on the glove side to tie the game 1-1.

Cash Koch gave the home side a 2-1 lead midway through the second period when he backhanded in a bouncing puck off an offensive zone face-off.

Before the second period came to a close, Thorpe caused a turnover in the neutral zone and the back check and then found a streaking Honzek in the middle of the ice, who split between the two defenders and went in on a breakaway, scoring his first of the season with a simple shot to the top corner.

Tri-City took back the lead momentarily in the third period when MacAdams scored on a power play at the 4:16 mark to make it 3-2.

Just a few minutes later, Mazden Leslie drew a penalty, which led to another penalty after Dagicevic knocked the put out of mid-air and directly out of play in his own zone, leading to a brief 5-on-3 advantage.

Vancouver made the Ams pay, first getting the equalizer from Halaburda off a mad crease scramble that began when Thorpe tried a wrap-around.

Just 1:42 after the tying goal, Schmidt used his speed to enter the zone down the right wing and took the puck all the way around the net to the goal line on the left side, before quickly spinning aND firing a wrist shot from a bad angle that went off the goaltender Kelsey and in.

Halaburda would deflect a Leslie point shot less than three minutes later to make it 5-3.

Honzek added an empty-net goal with under a minute left to make the final score 6-3.


"The thing we really liked is that third period and the resiliency in the group. And that's something we've been talking a lot with this group, is not getting down based on score or momentum and I thought the group came out in the third, we drew some penalties, the power play got hot and we end up with a big win." - Associate Coach Adam Maglio on the game as a whole

"The power play is finicky, right? So last night I thought was one of our best nights as far as Grade-A chances and they didn't go in. But it was just a matter of time. So I think tonight it got rewarded where we beared down and you can just look at the goals: Halaburda's that I was just watching is right around the net, guys were hungry, they're heavy on sticks, it was great to see it click tonight." - Associate Coach Adam Maglio on the power play

"All his goals were around the net, so he's getting hungry and getting to that tough ice. Halaburda is a smaller player, but he's got elite speed and elite feet and he can get low and inside players down low, so it was great to see him get going tonight. I know if you ask him, he has wanted this and he puts that pressure to lead this team, so he's certainly a happy guy after tonight." Associate Coach Adam Maglio Halaburda's performance


SOG: VAN - 7/7/17 = 31 | TC - 12/16/14 = 42

PP: VAN - 2/3 | TC - 1/5

Face-Offs: VAN - 31 | TC - 25


1st: VAN - Ty Halaburda - 3G 4 SOG, +2

2nd: VAN - Adam Titlbach - 3A, 1 SOG, +1

3rd: TC - Jackson Smith - 2A, 3 SOG, +1


Vancouver: Win - Matthew Hutchison (39 saves / 42 shots)

Tri-City: Loss - Kyle Kelsey (25 saves / 30 shots)


Halaburda's hat-trick was the first of his career. He now has nine goals and 18 points on the season.

Hutchison's 39 saves tied a career high (Oct. 20 at WEN) and are the most saves he has recorded in a win

Honzek's two goals were his first tallies of the season in just his second game. He has seven shots on goal in each of the two games he has played this season

Adam Titlbach and Tyler Thorpe each had three assists, a career high for both


Vancouver heads to Spokane to finish their 3-in-3 weekend on Sunday against the Chiefs, with puck drop scheduled for 5:05 p.m.

Don't forget the Giants annual Teddy Bear Toss game is Saturday, December 9 against the Everett Silvertips at 7 p.m.

Images from this story

Vancouver Giants' Ty Halaburda and Tri-City Americans' Jordan Gavin and Jake Sloan on the ice
Vancouver Giants' Ty Halaburda and Tri-City Americans' Jordan Gavin and Jake Sloan on the ice

(John Keller)

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