Vancouver NW Giants 2 - Sault Ste. Marie North Stars 1
GIANTS SCORE EARLY, HOLD OFF NORTH STARS
Landon Ferraro and Matthew Bell scored in the first nine minutes of the opening period and the Vancouver North West Giants held on for a 2-1 win over the Sault Ste. Marie North Stars in the second game for both at the 2007 TELUS Cup.
Ferraro capitalized on a Vancouver powerplay 5:29 into the opening frame, converting a Chris Hoe pass just after a two-man advantage had expired.
Bell, who was named Vancouver’s Player of the Game for his efforts, pushed the lead to two just under three minutes after Ferraro’s marker, finishing off a set-up from defenseman Kevin Smith.
Jarret Burton got the North Stars halfway back four minutes after Bell’s goal, tipping a point shot from Kevin Smith past Giants’ goaltender Graeme Gordon, the first puck to beat the Vancouver netminder.
What was looking like a shootout turned into a defensive battle the rest of the way, with both Gordon and Sault Ste. Marie’s Justin Hogsden turning aside everything they faced the rest of the way.
North Stars forward Anthony Colizza picked up the Player of the Game award for the Central Region champions.
Vancouver led the way in shots, holding a 28-24 advantage through 60 minutes.
The North Stars travel to Olds for the first time on Wednesday, taking on the Séminaire Saint-François Blizzard at 7:00 p.m., while the Giants will face the host Red Deer Optimist Rebels at the Red Deer Arena. Puck drop for that game is also 7:00 p.m.
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PREVIEW: GIANTS, NORTH STARS LOOK FOR FIRST WIN
Two teams that came up on the short end of the scoreboard in their opening games on Monday look for their first win as the Vancouver North West Giants and the Sault Ste. Marie North Stars take to the ice at the Red Deer Arena on Tuesday afternoon.
The Giants put up a strong fight in their opener against Prince Albert, but came out on the short end of a 2-1 decision. The Pacific representatives struggled to find their groove offensively, managing just one goal – which came very late in the third period.
Graeme Gordon stepped in between the pipes for the Giants after Kyle Nielsen allowed two first period goals and was spectacular, stopping every shot he faced on his way to Player of the Game honours.
The North Stars went into hostile territory on Monday night and faced the host Optimist Rebels in front of a packed house at Red Deer Arena, holding the Optimist Rebels scoreless for close to 35 minutes in what ended up as a 2-0 loss.
Sault Ste. Marie generated just 14 shots on Red Deer goaltender Marc Boulanger, and will look for a little more offense against Vancouver, as another loss will seriously damage the Central Region champions’ semi-final hopes.
Both teams come into the game with much the same problem: a strong defense, but struggles offensively. The Giants and North Stars will look to find their offensive stride, and give them hope heading into the middle of the week.