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Giants blast Blazers 5-2 to hand interim coach Hawgood his first loss

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VANCOUVER -Spencer Machacek scored two goals and added an assist as the Vancouver Giants blasted the Kamloops Blazers 5-2 in Western Hockey League action Sunday.

Michal Repik added a goal and two assists while James Wright and Mike Piluso also scored for the defending Memorial Cup-champion Giants as they posted their fifth straight victory and improved to 16-4-1-2.

Mario Bliznak had three assists for the Giants, who scored all of their goals at even strength while going scoreless on seven power-play opportunities.

Shayne Wiebe and Ivan Rohac replied for Kamloops, which went one-for-three on the power play while being outshot 38-18.

Vancouver handed interim Kamloops coach Greg Hawgood his first loss as the Blazers fell to 8-10-1-1. Kamloops had posted two straight victories under Hawgood after he replaced fired general manager and coach Dean Clark behind the bench last week.

The outcome was decided early as the Giants led 3-0 after the first period and 5-2 after the second.

The game got off to a feisty start as Vancouver's Garet Hunt fought Kamloops newcomer Brady Calla right after the opening face-off at the three-second mark. Then Giant James Henry and Blazer Shayne Wiebe scrapped just one second after play resumed.

But the Blazers showed little zip afterwards as they were outshot 18-3 in the first 20 minutes.

Wright put the Giants on the scoreboard at 4:26 as he stuff in Brent Regner's rebound off the end boards. Machacek counted his first of the game on a beautiful three-way passing play with Repik and Mario Bliznak less than three minutes later.

Machacek then put Vancouver ahead 3-0 at 15:43 as he roofed Repik's rebound over helpless Kamloops starting goaltender Justin Leclerc.

Piluso increased Vancouver's advantage to 4-0 at 4:03 of the second period.

Wiebe brought Kamloops within three goals at 11:34, but Repik put the Giants ahead 5-1 at 11:34 as he converted Machacek's cross-ice pass.

After the goal, Leclerc was replaced in the Kamloops net by James Priestner, who stopped all 10 shots that he faced.

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