CHL

WHL: Giants rally late to defeat Cougars

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The Canadian Press
12/28/2008 2:31:44 AM
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Trailing late in the third period and missing star forward Evander Kane, the Vancouver Giants looked headed for their first regulation loss of the season at home.

James Wright and Craig Cunningham weren't about to let that happen.

Vancouver scored twice in the final three minutes to edge the Prince George Cougars 4-3 in Western Hockey League action on Saturday night.

The win improves the Giants' home record to 17-0-0-2 so far this season. Vancouver has only lost twice in regulation, both on the road, and sits atop the Western Conference with a comfortable 13-point lead.

Wright scored his 14th goal of the season at 17:16 to knot the score at 3-3 before Cunningham put the game away 80 seconds later with his second of the night and 16th of the season to extend the Giants' winning streak to eight games.

Vancouver (29-2-0-3) outshot the Cougars 16-5 in the third period after Tyler Halliday scored with one second remaining in the second to give Prince George (14-22-0-1) a 3-2 lead.

Kane, the Giants' leading scorer, is representing Canada at the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ottawa. Without him, Vancouver struggled to find the net in the first period, falling behind 2-1 despite outshooting the Cougars 20-8.

In other WHL action, it was: Regina 5, Brandon 4; Swift Current 5, Medicine Hat 3; Kelowna 4, Kamloops 3 (SO); Moose Jaw 4, Edmonton 3 (SO); Chilliwack 5, Everett 2; Calgary 4, Red Deer 2; Prince Albert 5, Saskatoon 3; Kootenay 6, Lethbridge 1; Spokane 4, Tri-City 2; and Portland 5, Seattle 1.

At Vancouver, Casey Pierro-Zabotel added a goal and an assist for the Giants. Craig Schira had three assists, while Brent Regner added two.

Dallas Jackson had a goal and two assists and Parker Stanfield also scored for Prince George.

Tyson Sexsmith made 19 saves for Vancouver, while Cougars netminder Kevin Armstrong stopped 41 shots.

Pats 5, Wheat Kings 4

At Brandon, Man., Brett Leffler scored 3:53 into overtime as Regina beat the Wheat Kings.

Mitch Czibere, Kyle Mulder and Matt Strueby, with two, added goals for the Pats (19-15-1-4).

Matt Lowry, Brodie Melnychuk, Del Cowan and Andrew Clark scored for Brandon (20-13-2-1).

Broncos 5, Tigers 3

At Medicine Hat, Alta., Matt Tassone scored twice as Swift Current downed the Tigers.

Keegan Dansereau, Dillon Wagner and Cody Eakin had singles for Swift Current (22-15-0-1).

Tristan King, Sean Ringrose and Josh Koper replied for Medicine Hat (21-12-3-3).

Rockets 4, Blazers 3 (SO)

At Kelowna, B.C., Cody Almond's shootout winner led the Rockets past Kamloops.

Colin Long scored twice and Brandon McMillan added a single for Kelowna (21-14-0-0).

Zak Stebner, Giffen Nyren and Jimmy Bubnick countered for the Blazers (14-19-1-4).

Warriors 4, Oil Kings 3 (SO)

At Edmonton, Chad Suer had the lone shootout goal as Moose Jaw edged the Oil Kings.

Joel Broda, Corey Scott and Riley Grantham scored in regulation for the Warriors (10-23-0-1).

Brendan Dowd, Brett Breitkreuz and Shayne Neigum replied for Edmonton (15-19-2-3).

Bruins 5, Silvertips 2

At Everett, Wash., Ryan Howse had three goals in Chilliwack's win over the Silvertips.

Randy McNaught and Alexander Wiklund also scored for the Bruins (11-22-2-2).

Tyler Maxwell and Kyle Beach answered for Everett (15-14-5-0).

Hitmen 4, Rebels 2

At Red Deer, Alta., Ian Schultz scored on a penalty shot as Calgary downed the Rebels.

Keith Seabrook, Michael Stone and Brandon Kozun also had goals for the Hitmen (32-5-1-1).

Cullen Morin and Colin Archer scored for the Rebels (14-19-0-5).

Raiders 5, Blades 3

At Prince Albert, Sask., Dustin Cameron scored twice as the Raiders dumped Saskatoon.

Justin Bernhardt, Matt Robertson and Ryan McDonald added goals for the Raiders (16-22-2-0).

Burke Gallimore, Darian Dziurzynski and Jamie Crooks replied for the Blades (25-11-2-0).

Ice 6, Hurricanes 1

At Lethbridge, Alta., John Negrin had a goal and four assists as Kootenay routed the Hurricanes.

Matt Fraser and Dustin Sylvester each had a pair of goals while Michael Stickland added a single for the Ice (19-14-2-3).

Drew Hoff had the lone goal for Lethbridge (20-15-0-2).

Chiefs 4, Americans 2

At Spokane, Wash., James Reid made 26 saves to lead the Chiefs past Tri-City.

Trevor Glass, Jared Cowan, Justin McCrae and Ryan Letts scored for Spokane (21-11-0-3).

Mitch McColm and Adam Hughesman replied for the Americans (23-9-0-2).

Winter Hawks 5, Thunderbirds 1

At Seattle, Sawyer Mick's first two WHL goals led Portland past the Thunderbirds.

Jonathan Milhouse, Colin Reddin and Luke Walker also scored for the Winter Hawks (9-24-1-0).

Jonathan Parker opened the scoring for Seattle (14-18-1-2).

Vancouver Giants (Photo: TSN)

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(Photo: TSN)
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