VANCOUVER - Evander Kane scored three goals and added two assists as the Vancouver Giants whipped the Kelowna Rockets 7-1 on Friday night in the Western Hockey League.
Kane's linemate Casey Pierro-Zabotel provided four assists as the Giants improved to 7-0-0-1 before a crowd of 7,217 at the Pacific Coliseum. Kane, a 17-year-old Vancouver native, claimed the outright WHL scoring lead with 18 points (nine goals, nine assists), one ahead of Pierro-Zabotel. They entered the game tied.
Two of Kane's goals came on the power play as the Giants scored on four of nine man-advantage opportunities. Mike Piluso scored the other two power-play goals for the Giants while Lance Bouma, shorthanded, and Craig Schira added singles for Vancouver.
Kyle Verdino, on a third-period power play, was the lone Kelowna marksmen as the Rockets (4-5-0-0) went one-for-seven with the man advantage. Vancouver outshot Kelowna 27-21.
Vancouver led only 1-0 after the first period but took control of the game with two second-period goals.
Piluso opened the scoring on a power play at 18:40 of the first period. He put in Jon Blum's rebound off the end boards after Kelowna starting goaltender Kris Lazaruk misplayed the harmless-looking shot. The goal came while hulking Kelowna defenceman Tyler Myers was off for checking Kane from behind.
Vancouver winger Craig Cunningham, listed at five-foot-10, came to Kane's aid and bravely fought Myers, listed six-foot-seven, but the Rockets blue-liner won easily.
Kane, who is expected to be a first-round pick at next year's NHL draft, put the Giants ahead 2-0 on another power play at 15:04 of the second period. He easily deked goaltender Lazaruk after Pierro-Zabotel's second effort kept the puck in at the Kelowna blue-line and Piluso made a beautiful reverse pass.
Bouma's shorthanded goal gave the Giants a 3-0 lead about four minutes later. The Vancouver winger won a battle for the puck along the boards with Myers, a first-round draft choice of the Buffalo Sabres this year and raced in alone and scored.
Kane scored his second goal on a four-on-three power play at 5:43 of the third period, giving the Giants a 4-0 advantage.
Adam Brown took over for Lazaruk in the Kelowna net after the Giants went ahead 5-0 on Piluso's second power-play goal at 7:57 of the final frame.
Paradis spoiled Tyson Sexsmith's shutout bid less than five minutes later before Kane and Schira rounded out the scoring.