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Casey Pierro-Zabotel scores winner as Vancouver beats Kamloops 3-1

NHL.com @NHL

KAMLOOPS, B.C. - Centre Casey Pierro-Zabotel's power-play goal at 11:26 of the third period broke a 1-1 tie and the Vancouver Giants went on to a 3-1 WHL victory over the Kamloops Blazers on Saturday night.

Pierro-Zabotel, who played his minor hockey in Kamloops, scored from a wild scramble in the Kamloops crease area.

Mario Bliznak and Craig Cunningham, the latter into an empty net, also scored for Vancouver.

Juuso Puustinen gave the Blazers a 1-0 lead at 2:02 of the first period.

The Giants (48-15-2-6), who clinched the B.C. Division pennant a while ago, will be the second seed in the Western Conference and will open a first-round playoff series against the Chilliwack Bruins on Friday.

The Blazers (27-40-2-2) will finish eighth and will meet the Tri-City Americans, who finished first overall, in the opening round. That series opens Friday in Kennewick, Wash.

Kamloops goaltender Justin Leclerc turned in an marvelous 40-save effort, while Vancouver's Tyson Sexsmith turned aside 16 shots in earning his 43rd victory of the season.

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