Vancouver Giants exploded for six goals on Saturday night, Dec. 2, in a 6-3 win over the Tri-City Americans, getting a hat-trick from Ty Halaburda and 39 saves from Matthew Hutchison.
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 from Cameron Schmidt.
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, for a 6-3 final score.
All of Halaburda’s goals were around the net, Giants Associate Coach Adam Maglio noted.
“He’s getting hungry and getting to that tough ice,” said Maglio.
“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.”
Tri-City briefly regained the lead in the third period, but the Giants came back, a pleased Maglio commented.
“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.”
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 then take a 2-1 lead midway through the second period.
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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 scored his first of the season with a simple shot to the top corner.
Tri-City took back the lead momentarily in the third period, then, a few minutes later, Mazden Leslie drew a penalty, which led to another penalty after Dagicevic knocked the puck 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 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.
Giants’ Halaburda and Titlbach were named first and second stars of the game.
Halaburda’s hat-trick was the first of his career
Next, Vancouver is in Spokane to finish their 3-in-3 weekend on Sunday against the Chiefs, with puck drop scheduled for 5:05 p.m.
Giants’ annual Teddy Bear Toss game is Saturday, December 9 against the Everett Silvertips at 7 p.m.