It was a highly entertaining hockey game as the Vancouver Giants earned a split of the weekend home-and-home set with a 5-4 regulation win over the Blazers.
The teams combined for seven goals in a wild 2nd period. The Giants built a 4-1 lead, chasing Blazer goaltender Jeff Bosch from the net in favour of Jon Groenheyde.
The Blazers fought back with powerplay goals from Linden Saip and Austin Madaisky to cut it 4-3. The Giants built a 5-3 lead scoring a weak goal off the far boards from Dalton Sward to make it 5-3 after two.
The Blazers couldn't close the gap until a late goal from Colin Smith with the goalie pulled with only five seconds to play. That was it... 5-4 Giants win.
Giants F Randy McNaught looked to suffer a knee/leg injury early in the game when he got into a scrum with F Ryan Hanes in front of the Giants goal. He left and did not return.
A scare when Blazer captain Chase Schaber was hit from behind in the 2nd period resulting in a boarding major/game misconduct to the Giants Matt Bellerive.
It was another in a growing list of dangerous checks.
"I'm disappointed the players don't respect each other," said Head Coach Guy Charron post-game to Rick "The Bear" Wile on our broadcast.
"It happens too often. Are they waiting for someone to get badly injured? I know I played the game 12 years and rarely were those kind of checks given."
Chase Schaber was asked about it as well...
"Throughout the league there has to be more punishment (for these types of hits). It's probably the worst hit in hockey...guys can lose their careers that way. You don't respect players who do that at all."
Schaber missed a few shifts but was back later.
Brendan Ranford spent some time on the bench after a couple of turnovers - one leading to the Giants goal to open the scoring.
"The first goal was scored by (Ranford's) turnover", lamented Charron post-game.
"I can't let our top players make those mistakes when I'm expecting everyone else to play the same."
The Blazers head into Kelowna Wednesday to meet the Rockets for the first time this season. The Rockets are coming off a 4-3 SO win in Everett Sunday night. A game they trailed 3-0 to start the third period.