Vancouver Giants

The Vancouver Giants are a major junior ice hockey team playing in the Western Hockey League (WHL). Inaugurated in 2000-01, the Giants have won one WHL title (2006) and one CHL title (2007) in their seven-season history. Their home rink is the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The ownership group consists of British Columbia-based business men Ron Toigo and Sultan Thiara, Hockey Hall of Fame member Gordie Howe and former National Hockey League coach and general manager Pat Quinn.


Led by majority owner and British Columbia-based businessman Ron Toigo, the city of Vancouver was granted a WHL franchise for the 2001-02 season. In their inaugural campaign, the Giants compiled 13 wins, 49 losses, and 6 ties. The first goal in franchise history was scored by Tyson Mulock in a loss to the Kamloops Blazers.

The following season, the Giants went 26-37-5-4 (fourth in the B.C. division) and made their first playoff appearance, but lost in the first round to the eventual Presidents Cup champions, the Kelowna Rockets, in four games. Second-year forward Adam Courchaine led the team in scoring with 85 points, tallying 43 goals which still stands as a single-season franchise record.

In the 2003-04 season, the Giants continued to improve, posting a 33-24-9-6, which marked their first winning season. After defeating the Kamloops Blazers in the first round, the Giants lost in the second round to the expansion team Everett Silvertips in six games. Adam Courchaine led the team again in scoring, finishing ninth overall in the league. Hometown rookie Gilbert Brule, the first overall pick in the 2002 WHL Bantam Draft, scored 60 points and earned the Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy as the league's best first-year player.

In the 2004-05 season, the Giants went 34-30-4-4 and Brule emerged as a WHL star, finishing third in league scoring with 87 points, a franchise record. Courchaine, tallied 78 points, and finish seventh in league scoring; marking the first and only time thus far that the top ten league scorers would feature two Giants players. In the playoffs, the Giants lost in the first round to Kelowna. Despite the early exit, the Giants drew many fans to the Coliseum that year, due to the NHL lockout; game six against the Rockets drew 16,183 fans.

The 2005-06 season featured the Giants most significant improvement in the standings, and became one of the WHL's top teams. They finished the season 47-19-0-6, first in the B.C. division and third in the league overall. In the first round of the playoffs, the Giants beat the Prince George Cougars in five games, then the Portland Winterhawks in the second round, also in five games. In the third and final round, they won win eight straight, sweeping both the Everett Silvertips and Moose Jaw Warriors en route to their first ever President's Cup. Gilbert Brule had returned to the team midway through the season after starting 2005-06 with the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets, and was named the WHL Playoff MVP after scoring 16 goals and 30 points in 18 post-season games, including 5 goals and 12 points in the finals.

By winning the WHL league title, the Giants earned their first Memorial Cup appearance in Moncton, New Brunswick. The Giants finished the round-robin tied for third, then defeated the Peterborough Petes in a tie-breaker in order to move on to the playoffs, but lost to the Moncton Wildcats in the semifinal. Brule scored 12 points in 5 games, earning the Ed Chynoweth Trophy, as tournament leading scorer. He was also be named to the Memorial Cup All-star team with Giants defenceman Paul Albers.

The Giants were chosen by the CHL prior to the 2006 Memorial Cup, to host the 2007 Memorial Cup. They finished the season, once again atop their division, fourth in the league. The season featured a goaltending controversy, in which starter Dustin Slade would begin the season splitting time with emerging goalie Tyson Sexsmith. Slade, frustrated with having to give up his starts, would leave the team in November to pursue a pro-hockey career. With Sexsmith (who finished first in the league in GAA) as their starting goalie, and a balanced offence that included Milan Lucic, Michal Repik and mid-season acquisitions Wacey Rabbit and Kenndal McArdle, the Giants made their way once again to the WHL final. The series went the distance against the Medicine Hat Tigers, but the Giants lost the seventh game in double overtime, failing to win their second consecutive league title. However, because of their automatic by into the Memorial Cup as hosts, the Giants avenged their seventh game loss against the Tigers, defeating Medicine Hat 3-1 in the final, capturing their first Memorial Cup title. Lucic earned the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy as tournament MVP, while linemate Michal Repik led the tournament in scoring (edging Lucic by one goal) to capture the Ed Chynoweth Trophy. Defenceman Cody Franson also joined Lucic and Repik on the tournament All-star team.

As defending Memorial Cup champions the following season, the Giants won the B.C. division for the third consecutive year and posted a franchise record 106 points (49-15-2-6), third in the league. Third-year forward Spencer Machacek, named team captain after expected captain Lucic would stick with the Boston Bruins of the NHL, would lead the team in scoring with 78 points, fourteenth in the league. On defence, Jonathon Blum, also a returnee from the Memorial Cup winning team, finished second among league defencemen in scoring, tallying 63 points, a single-season franchise-record among defenseman. In goal, Sexsmith once again led the league with a stellar 1.89 goals against average. The Giants run for a third consecutive Memorial Cup appearance was cut short; after sweeping the Chilliwack Bruins in the first round, the Giants were stopped by the Spokane Chiefs in six games.


Memorial Cup
Canadian Hockey League champion

Western Hockey League playoff champion

Western Conference Champions

First place in regular season


NHL alumni

NHL draftees

Current roster

Updated November 7, 2007.

# align=left Player Catches Height Weight DOB Place of Birth

29 Tyson Sexsmith L 6'0 204 March 19, 1989 Priddis, Alberta
35 Kraymer Barnstable L 6'1 170 April 6, 1990 Kelowna, British Columbia

# align=left Player Shoots Height Weight DOB Place of Birth

2 Dillon Scholten R 6'3 190 January 3, 1990 Langley, British Columbia
4 Mike Berube L 6'1 215 May 20, 1988 Edmonton, Alberta
5 Craig Schira R 6'0 196 April 21, 1988 Spiritwood, Saskatchewan
6 Stefan Schneider R 6'4 199 December 13, 1989 Vernon, British Columbia
7 Jonathon Blum R 6'1 170 January 30, 1989 Rancho Santa Margarita, California
8 Neil Manning R 5'11 170 May 12, 1991 Nanaimo, British Columbia
23 Jarrin Stanton R 6'0 205 January 25, 1992 Trail, British Columbia
28 Brent Regner R 6'0 170 May 17, 1989 Newbrook, Alberta

# align=left Player Shoots Height Weight DOB Place of Birth

9 Evander Kane L 5'11 160 August 2, 1991 Vancouver, British Columbia
10 Lance Bouma L 6'0 194 March 25, 1990 Provost, Alberta
11 Chris Cloud L 5'11 186 October 22, 1988 Waywayseecappo, Manitoba
12 Phil Gervais R 6'0 179 March 10, 1990 St. Paul, Alberta
13 James Henry R 6'0 180 March 11, 1991 Winnipeg, Manitoba
14 Craig Cunningham L 5'9 175 September 3, 1990 Trail, British Columbia
15 Spencer Machacek R 6'1 182 October 14, 1988 Lethbridge, Alberta
16 Mike Piluso L 5'10 175 October 9, 1990 Maple Ridge, British Columbia
18 Mitch Czibere L 5'11 185 February 15, 1989 Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta
19 James Wright L 6'2 180 March 24, 1990 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
20 Mario Bliznak L 6'0 197 March 6, 1987 Trencin, Slovakia
21 Mike Reich L 5'11 192 May 31, 1988 Craik, Saskatchewan
24 Garet Hunt L 5'8 190 October 14, 1987 Maple Ridge, British Columbia
26 Michal Repik L 5'11 184 December 31, 1988 Vlasim, Czech Republic

Season-by-season record

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties OTL = Overtime losses Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against

Season GP W L T OTL GF GA Points Finish Playoffs
2001-02 72 13 49 6 4 198 365 36 5th B.C. Out of playoffs
2002-03 72 26 37 5 4 217 292 61 4th B.C. Lost Western Conference quarter-final
2003-04 72 33 24 9 6 215 196 81 2nd B.C. Lost Western Conference semi-final
2004-05 72 34 30 4 4 212 205 76 3rd B.C. Lost Western Conference quarter-final
Season GP W L OTL SOL GF GA Points Finish Playoffs
2005-06 72 47 19 0 6 252 156 100 1st B.C. Won WHL Championship; Lost Memorial Cup
2006-07 72 45 17 3 7 245 143 100 1st B.C. Lost final; Won Memorial Cup
2007-08 72 49 15 2 6 250 155 106 1st B.C. Lost Western Conference semi-final
2008–09 ''Season in progress see 2008–09 WHL season

Team records

Team Records for a single season
Statistic Total Season
Most Points 106 2007–08
Most Wins 49 2007–08
Most Goals For 252 2005–06
Least Goals For 198 2001–02
Least Goals Against 143 2006–07
Most Goals Against 365 2001–02

Individual player records for a single season
Statistic Player Total Season
Most Goals Adam Courchaine 43 2002–03
Most Assists Darren Lynch 53 2002–03
Most Points Gilbert Brulé 87 2004–05
Most Points, rookie Gilbert Brulé 60 2003–04
Most Points, defenceman Jonathon Blum 63 2007–08
Best GAA, goalie Tyson Sexsmith 1.79 2006–07
Goalies = minimum 1500 minutes played

See also


External links

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