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Henry scores winner as Vancovuer Giants rally edge Blazers 4-3 in overtime

NHL.com @NHL

VANCOUVER, B.C. - James Henry's goal 33 seconds into overtime gave the Vancouver Giants a 4-3 comeback victory over the Kamloops Blazers in the first game of their Western Hockey League opening-round playoff series Friday night.

Craig Cunningham scored two goals and Tomas Vincour supplied Vancouver's other goal as the Giants rallied from an early 3-1 deficit.

Austin Madaisky, Brendan Ranford and Ryan Hanes replied for the Blazers.

Henry's shot from the high slot trickled through kneeling Kamloops goaltender Kurtis Mucha on Vancouver's lone shot of the extra session.

Vancouver out-shot Kamloops 37-14 but could not score on nine power play chances. The Blazers went one-for-three in man-advantage situations.

The Giants won six of eight meetings with the Blazers during the regular season. But four were decided in a shootout and another was settled in overtime.

The game got off to a testy and action-packed start as five players - three from Vancouver and two from Kamloops - were penalized for a skirmish at the 1:29 mark.

Cunningham gave the Giants a 1-0 lead with a short-handed marker on a fine individual effort less than two minutes later.

But Modaisky, on the power play that resulted from the skirmish, and Ranford scored 36 seconds apart to give the Blazers a 2-1 lead. The goals came on Kamloops' first two shots against Vancouver goaltender Mark Segal, 18, who made his WHL playoff debut.

Hanes, who was at the centre of the fracas at the start of the game, put Kamloops ahead 3-1 at 9:34 of the first period on a wrist shot from the slot. Giants coach Don Hay elected not to pull Segal.

With the clubs playing four on four, Vincour reduced Vancouver's deficit to 3-2 at 17:52 as he put in Toigo's goalmouth pass.

The Giants out-shot the visitors 17-4 in a penalty-filled second period, but could not beat Mucha as the Blazers retained their 3-2 lead.

In the third, Vancouver held Kamloops without a single shot, but struggled to get the puck on net as many shots were blocked by Blazer defenders.

Cunningham made no mistake when he was finally given a relatively clear shot from the slot area, notching his second goal of the night at 14:48 to create a 3-3 tie. Giants captain Lance Bouma, playing his first game since Feb. 13, when he suffered a torn medial collateral ligament, assisted on the goal after digging the puck out of the corner.

Vancouver received a power play with 1:36 left in the third as Josh Caron took a roughing penalty, but they could not beat Mucha before the horn sounded to end regulation time.

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