For a second straight game, a Vancouver Giant recorded a preseason hat-trick.
Friday night at the Langley Events Centre the Vancouver Giants defeated the Prince George Cougars 7-3.
An 18-year-old forward, James Malm, paced the Giants attack with three goals and an assist while Kaleb Bulych and Bowen Byram each added a pair of assists.
Five of Vancouver’s seven goals came in the second period as the Giants built up a 7-0 lead. David Tendeck earned the win between the pipes going 12-for-12 before giving way to Trent Miner.
Owen Hardy grabbed the game’s first goal in the late stages of the first period. Bowen Byram sprung the 18-year-old on a breakaway and at the 18:18 mark he snapped a shot over the left shoulder of Cougars starter Isaiah DiLaura and in for his second goal of the exhibition season.
The Giants would then strike five unanswered times in the second period. It started at 1:16 when James Malm grabbed his first of three goals on the game. It came on a power play off a shot from the right circle that snuck through DiLaura. Brayden Watts and Cyle McNabb would then add goals 27 seconds apart starting at the 4:35 mark of the period to stake the G-Men to a 4-0 cushion. Malm’s middle goal was a highlight reel finish that made the score 5-0 and spelled the end of the night for DiLaura.
With five minutes remaining in the second, Slovak forward Milos Roman made it 6-0 for Vancouver on a power play which finished two-for-four on the night. The home side took that 6-0 lead into the second intermission and were outshooting Prince George 38-20.
The final Giants goal of the game came off the stick of Malm who snapped his hat-trick goal past the blocker of Brock Hamm off a two-on-one rush just 2:02 into the final period.
Thanks to a string of power plays the Cougars would bridge the gap to 7-3 after unanswered power play goals courtesy of Chance Adrian (4:07), Marco Mazza (11:50) and Max Kryski (13:49).
The final shots were 45-27 for Jason McKee’s crew who will return to action on Saturday night against the Victoria Royals at 6 p.m.
The Cougars meanwhile will square off with the Everett Silvertips at 2 p.m. in a game that will also take place at the Langley Events Centre.
Giants pre-season record: 3-1