Rookie forward Connor Levis scored two goals to help Kamloops to a 7-3 win over Vancouver in an empty Sandman Centre in Kamloops on Friday.
Sixteen-year-old Vancouver native Connor Levis helped spoil the Vancouver Giants’ opening game of the WHL’s B.C. Division hub season.
Levis, a rookie forward playing in his first game with the Kamloops Blazers, scored two goals to help his team to a 7-3 win over the Giants in an empty Sandman Centre in Kamloops on Friday.
The Blazers, Giants, Kelowna Rockets, Victoria Royals and Prince George Cougars are playing 24-game seasons in hubs in Kelowna and Kamloops after having their COVID-19 return to play signed off on by provincial health officials.
Friday marked Vancouver’s first game since a 4-3 overtime loss in Prince George on March 7, 2020.
The Giants host the Kelowna Rockets at the Sandman on Sunday (6 p.m.).
Levis, the No. 20 overall pick in the 2019 WHL bantam draft out of St. George’s Academy, beat Vancouver netminder Drew Sim with a backhand deke on a breakaway at 13:43 of the first period to stake the Blazers to a 3-0 lead. Levis tallied again at 4:13 of the third, redirecting home a Caedan Bankier feed just nine seconds after Bryce Bader had scored for Vancouver to make it 4-2.
Second-year Blazers forward Matthew Seminoff had two goals and one assist in the winning cause. Seminoff is a 17-year-old from Coquitlam.
The Blazers have the makings to be the class of the division. They feature forward Connor Zary and goaltender Dylan Garand, who were both part of the Canadian world junior team that captured silver in January. Zary was a first-round pick, No .24 overall, by the Calgary Flames at the NHL Draft in October. Kamloops forward Logan Stankoven could be a first-round pick in the upcoming draft.
Zary had three assists on Friday. Stankoven had one goal and one helper.
Vancouver got goals from Tristen Nielsen and Eric Florchuk to go with the Bader marker.
Garand made 19 saves. Sim made 20 stops. Veteran Vancouver netminder Trent Miner just resumed skating with the Giants after a quarantine resulting from him playing in the AHL with the Colorado Eagles.