It took long enough for Vancouver Giant James Malm to score his first regular season goal in the WHL that he decided to add a second one for good measure.
The North Delta native was the first star in Vancouver’s first win in their new home at the Langley Events Centre, propelling the Giants to a 3-1 win over the Kamloops Blazers on Oct. 2. His goal at 9:00 of the first period gave the Giants an early 2-0 lead and ended up being the game winner.
“It’s awesome,” Malm said. “It means a lot for me to go out there and play and represent the Giants. It was a good night.”
Malm extended Vancouver’s lead just 1:40 after Brendan Semchuk gave the team the start they were looking for, driving to the net and putting in a rebound attempt off of an Alec Baer shot.
In the second period, Malm quickly answered a Kamloops goal that pulled the game within one, beating Blazers goalie Connor Ingram on a two-on-one.
Vancouver Giants head coach Jason McKee was less than impressed with his team’s play in the opening few games of the season, but was encouraged by the performance he saw on the ice against the Blazers.
“We played a much more structured game and our commitment level to winning the game was where it needed to be,” McKee said. “There are still areas we have to get better sports at, but there was lots of positives tonight.”
It was a much needed win for a club that started out winless in the first four games, including three straight defeats at home despite strong crowds all three nights; 3,712 was the official attendance at Sunday’s game.
The Giants hit the road for a six-game road trip on Friday, taking on Prince George (Oct. 7 and 8), Calgary (Oct. 10), Edmonton (Oct. 11), Lethbridge (Oct. 14) and Medicine Hat (Oct. 15) before returning home to face the Saskatoon Blades on Oct. 19.