VANCOUVER (CP) - Michal Repik's second-period goal gave the Vancouver Giants a 3-2 victory over the Prince George Cougars in Game 1 of the WHL's Western Conference final series on Friday.
Lance Bouma and Kenndal McArdle also scored for the defending WHL-champion Giants before a crowd of 7,566 at the Pacific Coliseum.
Evan Fuller and Chris Durand replied for Prince George. Vancouver outshot the Cougars 37-21, but the Giants struggled to finish their chances, as they were held scoreless on five power-play opportunities.
Prince George went 1-for-5 with the man advantage.
Bouma gave Vancouver a 1-0 lead 4:18 into the game as his wraparound attempt went in off Prince George defenceman Ty Wishart's skate.
The Giants dominated the entire first period, but Cougars goaltender Real Cyr made several excellent saves as Vancouver enjoyed a 19-7 edge in shots.
Fuller created a 2-2 tie at 9:10 of the second period as he deflected Wishart's point shot past Giants goaltender Tyson Sexsmith.
McArdle put the hosts ahead just 55 seconds later, and Repik increased Vancouver's lead to 3-1 as he lifted home a backhand, taking a pass from Milan Lucic.
Durand reduced Prince George's deficit to 3-2 at 16:26 of the third period as he swept in Devin Setoguchi's pass during a power play.
The winner of this series faces either Calgary or Medicine Hat, who are playing for the Eastern Conference championship.
The Giants have already qualified for the Memorial Cup tournament as the host team.
Game 2 goes Saturday in Vancouver.