Kane's shootout marker lifts Giants over Hitmen
VANCOUVER - Evander Kane's shootout goal gave the Vancouver Giants a 4-3 victory over the Calgary Hitmen in WHL action Friday night.
After Kane scored in the sudden-death portion of the shootout, Giants goaltender Tyson Sexsmith stymied Ryan White on Calgary's final chance to secure the victory.
The defending Memorial Cup champion Giants ended a three-game losing streak as they improved to 5-1-1-0. The Hitmen dropped to 9-3-0-0 but retained first place in the Eastern Division and top spot overall in the WHL.
Kane also scored in regulation time for the Giants, along with Garet Hunt and Jonathan Blum.
Carson McMillan led Calgary with two third-period goals as the Hitmen overcame a 3-0 second-period deficit to create a suspenseful finish. Kyle Bortis was the other Calgary marksman.
The Hitmen, who outshot Vancouver 31-30, were held scoreless on eight power-play opportunities, while the Giants went 0-for-5.
McMillan's second goal of the night - from a sharp angle with only 2:05 left in the third period - forced overtime and the shootout.
After a scoreless first period, Hunt gave Vancouver a 1-0 lead at
5:59 of the second period as he slid the puck under sprawling Calgary goaltender Dan Spence after taking a pass on a 2-on-1 with Mario Bliznak.
Blum, on a slapshot from the point and Kane, on a backhander from in close, scored 33 seconds apart to put Vancouver ahead 3-0 by the 17:41 mark. But Bortis scored on a breakaway just 31 seconds later to reduce Calgary's deficit to 3-1. It was the fourth goal in five games for Bortis.
The Hitmen outshot the Giants 16-4 in the third period as the hosts were forced to kill four minor penalties.
McMillan's first tally brought the Hitmen within a goal at 5:47 of the third period. He second goal came on a shot from the corner that trickled in between Sexsmith's leg and the post.
Phil Gervais played his first game for Vancouver after being acquired Wednesday in a trade from the Swift Current Broncos in exchange for a 2008 third round bantam draft choice.
Giants winger Mike Reich sat out the first of a two-game suspension for his part in a melee at the conclusion of Monday's 4-2 loss to Kelowna.