Friday, January 17, 2014

Hay Reaches 600 in Kamloops; Giants Win 6-2

Don Hay won his 600th regular season game as a Head Coach in the WHL on Friday night as the Vancouver Giants defeated the Kamloops Blazers 6-2 at the Interior Savings Centre. Dalton Sward scored twice for the G-Men in the win while Vancouver also got goals from Thomas Foster, Travis McEvoy, Tyler Morrison and Arvin Atwal. Joel Hamilton had three assists.

With the victory, Hay becomes the third coach in WHL history to reach 600 wins, joining Ken Hodge (742) and Lorne Molleken (603).

Sward opened the scoring for Vancouver just after the midway mark of the opening period when he threw the puck to the net off the left wing boards, and it bounced off a Kamloops defender and past goaltender Bolton Pouliot to give the G-Men the lead.

Vancouver built on the lead with three goals in the second period. Foster scored just 57 seconds into the stanza when he wired a wrister past Pouliot from the high slot for his fourth of the season. McEvoy made it 3-0 later in the frame when Ty Ronning forced a turnover at the Blazers' blue line and McEvoy rippled the mesh with a shot off the left wing. Morrison rounded out the scoring for the G-Men in the second when he buried the rebound of an Alec Baer shot off the rush.

Sward made it 5-0 with his second of the night just over five minutes into the third with a pretty goal as he picked the top right corner off the rush. Atwal added a power play marker with a slap shot from the point to give Vancouver a six goal lead before Joe Kornelsen spoiled Payton Lee's shutout bid, scoring at 10:06 of the third on a man advantage. Nathan Looysen added his first WHL goal later in the period, but that was as close as the Blazers would get as the Giants closed out the milestone victory for Hay.

Vancouver will continue its three game road trip on Sunday against the Tri-City Americans. Face-off is set for 5:00pm on TEAM 1040 and, preceded by the Pre-Game show at 4:30pm.

Game Summary

3 Stars:
1. Joel Hamilton - Vancouver
2. Dalton Sward - Vancouver
3. Nathan Looysen - Kamloops

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