Sweet revenge for Giants

BOB MACKIN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:10 AM ET

Host Vancouver Giants won their first Memorial Cup 3-1 over the Western Hockey League champion Medicine Hat Tigers yesterday before 16,281 fans at the Pacific Coliseum.

Giants hoisted the biggest prize in North American major junior hockey 13 days after losing the seventh game of the WHL finals in double overtime in Medicine Hat.

"This is a storybook ending," said Giant Wacey Rabbit. "This takes all the pain away,"

Michal Repik scored the winner with 4:55 left in the third period when he picked up a bouncing puck behind the Tigers' net and beat goaltender Matt Keetley with a short side wraparound.

"They were coming hard to the net all night," said Keetley, who made 37 saves. "[Milan] Lucic got me off balance on the first shot, I was scrambling back and as soon as I got back, [Repik] wrapped it."

Vancouver's Spencer Machacek sealed the championship when he added an empty net goal with 43 seconds to go.

"It was our time to win this," said Giant Milan Lucic, voted the Memorial Cup's most valuable player. "There were a lot of critics that said we couldn't do it."

The Tigers failed to capitalize on a 1:33 two-man advantage straddling the first and second periods. Vancouver finally broke the deadlock in the second when Mario Bliznak scored on A.J. Thelen's rebound at 6:07 of the middle period. Tiger Darren Helm equalized on a power play at 15:49.

Giants' goaltender Tyson Sexsmith faced 15 shots, including just two in the third.

"The other night we shut them down," said Tigers' head coach Willie Desjardins. "We were ahead and they had to come to us. Tonight we were coming to them." 


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