VIDEO: Vancouver Giants bounce back with 6-0 win over Kelowna

Mazden Leslie scored twice in his WHL debut as the Langley-based Vancouver Giants downed Kelowna 6-0 in WHL action on Sunday, March 28, 2021 (Allen Douglas/Special to Langley Advance Times)Mazden Leslie scored twice in his WHL debut as the Langley-based Vancouver Giants downed Kelowna 6-0 in WHL action on Sunday, March 28, 2021 (Allen Douglas/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Mazden Leslie scored twice in his WHL debut as the Langley-based Vancouver Giants downed Kelowna 6-0 in WHL action on Sunday, March 28, 2021 (Allen Douglas/Special to Langley Advance Times)Mazden Leslie scored twice in his WHL debut as the Langley-based Vancouver Giants downed Kelowna 6-0 in WHL action on Sunday, March 28, 2021 (Allen Douglas/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Tristen Nielsen paced the Giants attack with a three-goal first period as the Langley-based team downed Kelowna 6-0 in WHL action on Sunday, March 28, 2021 (Allen Douglas/Special to Langley Advance Times)Tristen Nielsen paced the Giants attack with a three-goal first period as the Langley-based team downed Kelowna 6-0 in WHL action on Sunday, March 28, 2021 (Allen Douglas/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley-based Vancouver Giants downed Kelowna 6-0 in WHL action on Sunday, March 28, 2021. The final goal of the game came courtesy of Adam Hall. (Allen Douglas/Special to Langley Advance Times)Langley-based Vancouver Giants downed Kelowna 6-0 in WHL action on Sunday, March 28, 2021. The final goal of the game came courtesy of Adam Hall. (Allen Douglas/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Goaltender Trent Miner could not be beaten as the Langley-based Vancouver Giants downed Kelowna 6-0 in WHL action on Sunday, March 28, 2021 (Allen Douglas/Special to Langley Advance Times)Goaltender Trent Miner could not be beaten as the Langley-based Vancouver Giants downed Kelowna 6-0 in WHL action on Sunday, March 28, 2021 (Allen Douglas/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Vancouver Giants have their first victory of the 2020-21 WHL season, and it came in convincing fashion Sunday night, March 28, in Kamloops with the Langley-based team earning a 6-0 victory over the Kelowna Rockets.

Tristen Nielsen paced the Giants attack with a three-goal first period, while 15-year-old defenceman Mazden Leslie scored twice in his WHL debut, and the final goal of the game came courtesy of Adam Hall.

Trent Miner turned aside all 20 shots he faced in his first start of the season in goal.

The final shots were 37-20 for Vancouver.

It was a big change from their first game, a 7-3 loss to Kamloops on Friday.

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The difference, according to Giants Associate Coach Keith McCambridge, was the players “were on our toes.”

“We played a more aggressive game,” McCambridge elaborated.

“We took away time and space from a good team in Kelowna. A lot of things that gave us trouble in our opener, we felt we were able to correct and play the game on the right side of the puck.”

McCambridge called Neilsen “outstanding.”

Leslie has “such raw talent,” McCambridge commented.

Giants Senior Vice President Dale Saip told the Langley Advance Times the team will be able to make more use of the under-age player than usual during the COVID-compliant season.

“If this was a regular season, he would only be allowed about five games,” Saip explained.

After his three-goal, five point night, Nielsen was quick to share credit.

“I hit the net tonight. That was huge. I was able to capitalize on my opportunities, but most importantly my linemates tonight were awesome,” Neilsen observed.

Nielsen becomes the first Giant to record five points in a game since Bowen Byram did so against Kamloops on January 12th, 2019.

A happy Mazden Leslie said D-partner Tanner Brown was “a huge help” in making a memorable debut.

“We played an all-around great game.” said Lesie, who becomes the first under-ager to score a goal for the Vancouver Giants since March 20, 2015.

For his first goal “I just picked up the rebound,” Leslie recalled, then scored a second time in the same period, calling it a “kind of back door” goal. “I did even know it went in until the light went on.”

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Two of Trent Miner’s five career WHL shutouts have now come against Kelowna. His other shutout against the Rockets came on October 3, 2018.

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Neilsen, Leslie and Miner were named three stars of the game.

Highlights of the Sunday game can be viewed online by clicking HERE.

Next up, the Giants take on the Victoria Royals Tuesday night at 7 p.m.


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