For the first time this playoffs, the Kamloops Blazers fall on home ice 5-2 in Game 5 to the Vancouver Giants. This was only the eight time including the regular season that Kamloops lost at home in regulation. Jesper Vikman stood on his head once again with 35 saves while Dylan Garand stopped 21 of 24 shots.
Kamloops jumped out to a lead early in the first thanks to Luke Toporowski’s seventh of the playoffs. The Giants tied it up midway through the first as Adam Hall buried his ninth to tie the game 1-1 going into the first intermission. The Blazers jumped out ahead once again with Matthew Seminoff’s third of the season. Kamloops took the lead into the third period but in the final frame, Zack Ostapchuk and the Giants took over. Ty Thorpe tied the game less than two minutes into the third followed by Ostapchuk scoring his sixth just 59 seconds later to take the lead. Then, history repeated itself with another late game controversial call. To quote long-time Giants fan Lucas Kam “Hockey gods giveth, hockey gods taketh away”.
In Game 5, the Giants took a too-many men on the ice call while down one with two minutes remaining. Tonight in Game 6, it was Kamloops who took a too-many men on the ice penalty with just over two minutes left down by a goal. With the Blazers net empty late, the Giants got goals from Hall and Ostapchuk to take the game 5-3.
Not enough is being said about Vikman and his performance this series. He has faced over 30 shots in each of the five games including the 37 tonight. Through the playoffs, he has faced 359 shots and saved 326. In comparison, only one other goalie has faced over 250 shots and that is Chase Coward of Red Deer who faced 252. The Vegas prospect is putting on a show these playoffs and has arguably been the best goaltender in these playoffs.
The Giants will look to force a Game 7 on Sunday back home in Game 6. The last time the Giants hosted a Game 6, they defeated the Everett Silvertips in Round 1 in the series clinching game. Game time is set for 4pm.