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PREVIEW: Vancouver Giants vs. Kamloops Blazers (Game #3)

Rob Wilton

Tonight at the Langley Events Centre, the Vancouver Giants look to improve their early season record to 3-0 when they take to the ice against the two-time reigning B.C. Division champions, the Kamloops Blazers. Last Friday the G-Men kicked off their home schedule with a 6-4 victory over the Prince George Cougars. Justin Sourdif (1G, 2A), Ty Thorpe (1G, 2A) and Mazden Leslie (3A) each had three points while Jesper Vikman made 33 saves to secure his second straight victory in goal. At the other end of the ice, the Kamloops Blazers come into tonight’s game with a 4-1 record and have scored the second most goals in the entire Western Conference (26).

TICKETSWEBCASTRADIO

KAMLOOPS BLAZERS

OVERVIEW

Head Coach: Shaun Clouston

Record: 4-1

Road Record: 3-1

Last Game:

Goals For/Goals Against: 26 GF/16 GA (+10)

Power Play: 30.4% (3rd)

Penalty Kill: 68.4% (20th)

Leading Scorers: Caedan Bankier (5GP – 5G – 3A – 8PTS), Logan Stankoven (5GP – 2G – 6A – 8PTS), Dylan Sydor (5GP – 1G – 7A – 8PTS)

LOGAN ON THE LOOSE

Since returning to the Kamloops Blazers via the NHL’s Dallas Stars, 2003-born forward Logan Stankoven (Kamloops, B.C.) has not missed a beat. In five games so far, Stankoven has secured two goals and six assists for eight points, which currently has him tied for first on the team in scoring. Stankoven’s previous WHL season was limited to just six games due to his stint with Canada at the World Under-18’s, but the previous season, Stankoven finished tied for the rookie goal-scoring lead with 29. In 12 career games against Vancouver dating back to 2018-19 season, Stankoven has notched six goals and one assist for seven points. Earlier this week, Stankoven was named a co-captain of the Kamloops Blazers alongside Quinn Schmiemann.

PERSSON OF INTEREST

Last night in Kelowna, Vancouver Canucks prospect Viktor Persson tallied his first career WHL goal. So far in four games, the over-age import has managed a goal and three assists for four points, which ties him for the team lead in scoring among defenceman. The product of Valbo, SWE was selected by the Vancouver Canucks in Round 7 of the 2020 NHL Draft. He’s 6’2″, 192-pounds and a right-handed shot.

BLAZER NOTES

  •  Caedan Bankier brings a four-game point streak into tonight’s game. The Minnesota Wild prospect has five goals and three assists for eight points in that span.
  • Forward Dylan Sydor leads all Western Conference skaters with seven assists.
  • Tonight marks the first time that former Giants defenceman Marko Stacha faces his former team. Stacha appeared in all 22 games last season for the Giants, recording one goal and five assists for six points.

VANCOUVER GIANTS

OVERVIEW

Head Coach: Michael Dyck

Record: 2-0

Home Record: 1-0

Last Game: A 6-4 victory over the Prince George Cougars at home on October 8.

Goals For/Goals Against: 11 GF/4 GA (+7)

Power Play: 12.5% (19th)

Penalty Kill: 100% (1st)

Leading Scorers: Justin Sourdif (2GP – 2G – 3A – 5PTS), Adam Hall (2GP – 3G – 1A – 4PTS), Mazden Leslie (2GP – 1G – 3A – 4PTS)

‘LES’ IS MORE

The present, as well as the future of the Vancouver Giants blueline is in good hands thanks to the emergence of 2005-born Mazden Leslie. Originally selected 10th overall by the Giants in the 2020 WHL Prospects Draft, the product of Lloydminster, AB has made an early impact with the Giants. Last season he joined the Giants in the Kamloops/Kelowna Hub and notched five goals in 17 games. So far this season in two games, he’s added one goal and three assists for four points which leads all Giants blueliners and ranks him tied for fourth in league scoring among defenceman, and tied for first among all 2005-born defenders.

A ‘HALL’ OF A START

Heading into action tonight, over-age forward Adam Hall leads all Giants in goals with three. The product of Edmonton, AB has recorded two points in each of the first two games this season, and has found instant chemistry alongside Giants captain Justin Sourdif. In six meetings last season against Kamloops, Hall posted one goal and one assist for two points.

GIANT NOTES

  • With three points on Friday against PG, Mazden Leslie became the first 16-year-old Giants defenceman to record three points in a game since Bowen Byram, who did so on February 2nd, 2018 against the Calgary Hitmen.
  • Last Friday, Ethan Semeniuk became the first Giant since 2015 to score his first career WHL goal in a Giants home opener. Back on September 25, 2015 Radovan Bondra recorded his first career WHL goal, in his first WHL game as the Giants defeated the Seattle Thunderbirds 3-2.
  • The Giants have started their season 2-0 in three of the previous four years. (’21, ’19, ’18). The last time the Giants started a season 3-0 was the 2014-15 season when the Giants defeated Victoria (Sept. 20), Portland (Sept. 26) and Victoria (Sept. 28).
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