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Vancouver Giants win Memorial Cup


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Giants win Memorial Cup

Host Vancouver beats Medicine Hat

VANCOUVER: Vancouver Giants won their first MasterCard Memorial Cup Sunday 3-1 over the Medicine Hat Tigers.

Michal Repik scored the winner with 4:55 left in the third period after he picked up a bouncing puck behind the Tigers' net when Milan Lucic's rebound got away from goaltender Matt Keetley.

Repik's wraparound beat Keetley on the short side.

Vancouver's Spencer Machacek added an empty net goal with 46.3 seconds to go.

Giants dominated the first period, outshooting Medicine Hat 17-5. 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 A.J. Thelen and Kenndal McArdle executed a give-and-go behind the Tigers' net. Mario Bliznak scored on Thelen's rebound at 6:07.

Tigers tied it on a power play at 15:49 of the middle frame when Derek Dorsett found Darren Helm in front of the Vancouver net during a power play.

Tigers managed just 15 shots on Vancouver goaltender Tyson Sexsmith. Keetley made 38 saves.

The game attracted 16,281 fans for a record Memorial Cup tournament total of 121,461.

Giants and Tigers split their two regular season meetings, but Tigers edged Vancouver on May 14 in double overtime to win the seven-game WHL championship. Tigers earned a bye into Sunday's final when they were 1-0 winners in last Wednesday's round-robin game. Giants beat Ontario Hockey League champion Plymouth Whalers 8-1 in Friday's semifinal.

Vancouver's win came 30 years and 13 days since New Westminster Bruins won the 1977 Memorial Cup at the Pacific Coliseum.

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Well done, Vancouver! For a young team, the Giants have evolved to a big team with some big wins.

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