Regular season: 45-17-3-7, first in the WHL’s B.C. Division, second in the Western Conference, fourth in the league.

Playoffs: first round def. Chilliwack Bruins (25-40-5-2) 4-1; second round def. Seattle Thunderbirds (37-21-3-11) 4-1; third round defeated Prince George Cougars (33-31-3-5) 4-1; lost WHL final to the Medicine Hat Tigers (52-17-3-0) 4-3.

General manager: Scott Bonner (sixth year).

Head coach: Don Hay (third year).

Assistant coach/assistant general manager: Craig Bonner (fifth year).

Playoff performers: G Tyson Sexsmith (14-3-4, 1.79 GAA, .914 save) led the WHL in goals against in the playoffs; RW Michal Repik (10-16-26 in 22 games) led the WHL in playoff scoring; LW Kenndal McArdle (11-9-20 in 22 games) and C Wacey Rabbit (11-9-20 in 22 games) tied for fifth.

In net: Sexsmith led the WHL in goals against in the regular season, with his 1.79, while also being near the top in save percentage (.915) shutouts (10) and wins 31).

Unsung heroes: Bliznak does not have the offensive flair usually associated with an import, but is tremendous on faceoffs and penalty killing.

Draftees: Thelen, Minnesota Wild (1st round, 2004); McArdle, Florida Panthers (1st, 2005); D Brendan Mikkelson, Anaheim Ducks (2nd, 2005); Franson, Nashville Predators (3rd, 2005); RW J.D. Watt, Calgary Flames (4th, 2005); Rabbit, Boston Bruins (5th, 2005); Bliznak, Vancouver Canucks (7th, 2005); Lucic, Boston Bruins (2nd, 2006).

Just notes: The Giants have 10 new players this season.

Memorial Cup history: The Giants went to the national tournament last year for the first time and feel behind early, losing 3-2 to the host Moncton Wildcats and 6-3 to the Quebec Remparts. The Giants responded by beating the Peterborough Petes 3-2 and then 6-0 in the tiebreaker game, but lost 3-1 to Moncton in the semifinals.

– Steve Ewen, Vancouver Province


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