CHL

WHL: Gallagher, Giants beat Hurricanes in fight-filled affair

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The Canadian Press
9/30/2009 1:25:08 AM
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VANCOUVER -- Brendan Gallagher scored a goal and added two assists as the Vancouver Giants downed the Lethbridge Hurricanes 5-1 in a penalty-filled Western Hockey League game Tuesday night.

Mike Piluso, James Henry, Craig Cunningham and Nathan Burns, with his first-ever WHL goal, also scored for the Giants as they improved to 4-1-1 before a crowd of 5,533 at the Pacific Coliseum.

Carter Bancks, who prompted a second-period brawl, replied for the Hurricanes as Lethbridge (0-5-0) suffered its fifth straight loss and remained winless in the young season.

The Giants outshot the Hurricanes 41-18 but were often thwarted by rookie Finnish goaltender Ville Kolppanen, who made 35 saves.

The clubs combined for 175 minutes worth of infractions as 41 penalties, 24 to Lethbridge and 17 to Vancouver, were handed out. The Giants went 3-for-12 on the power play while the Hurricanes were blanked on five man-advantage opportunities.

Bancks triggered the brawl as he elbowed Vancouver goaltender Jamie Tucker in the head and knocked him over after the whistle had blown.

Vancouver captain Lance Bouma immediately went after Bancks in the corner and all five skaters on each team squared off. Five players -- three from Vancouver, including Bouma, and two from Lethbridge -- received fighting majors and game misconducts. Bancks got off lightly with two minutes for goaltender interference.

The Giants led 2-0 after the first period and 4-1 after the second.

Piluso opened the scoring 7:13 into the game as he skated along the bottom of the right face-off circle and beat Lethbridge goaltender Kolppanen over the shoulder from the short side.

Henry gave the Giants a 2-0 lead about four minutes later. He stuffed in Gallagher's rebound while the teams were playing four on four.

Vancouver outshot Lethbridge 15-3 in the first period.

Gallagher put the Giants ahead 3-0 on a power play 2:57 of the second period. Bancks reduced Lethbridge's deficit to 3-1 less than three minutes later, shortly before starting the brawl.

Cunningham's power-play goal put the Giants ahead 4-1 at 18:15. The Giants outshot the Hurricanes 30-11 over 40 minutes.

Burns closed out the scoring in the third period, then Vancouver's James Henry and Lethbridge's Craig Orfino closed out the fights.

Notes--Earlier Tuesday, the Giants acquired centre Cass Mappin in exchange for winger Andrej Kudrna, an 18-year-old native of Nove Zamky, Slovakia who was in his second season with Vancouver. Mappin played Tuesday night and assisted on Vancouver's opening goal. Kudrna was considered one of Vancouver's hottest prospects after counting 18 goals and 28 assists in his rookie season in 2008-09. However, general manager Scott Bonner moved after 19-year-old centre James Wright unexpectedly signed a three-year entry-level contract with the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning over the weekend, leaving the Giants short of centres. Wright, a fourth-round 2008 draft choice of the Lightning, was due to return to Vancouver on Sept. 16, but Tampa cancelled his flight at the last minute . . . The Giants sported pink laces and stick tape in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation's CIBC Run for the Cure event being held Sunday across Canada . . . New Lethbridge goaltender Linden Rowat, acquired Sunday in a trade from the Tri-City Americans, dressed as the backup, although he is slated to be the Hurricanes' new starter.

Vancouver Giants (Photo: TSN)

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(Photo: TSN)
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