Fargo Advances; Wright Helps Vancouver Force Game 7

N.A. Juniors Playoff Game Night: 4/13

Wright's big game sends series to seventh game ... Fadden finished ... Witkowski scores first playoff goal as Force advances.

USHL – Division Semifinals

Omaha Lancers 3 @ Fargo Force 4 (OT)
Fargo wins Best of 5 series 3-0
D Luke Witkowski, FGO: 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 5 SOG, *Third Star*[i]
Playoff totals: 3 GP, 1-1-2, +4, 4 PIM
Season totals: 55 GP, 6-16-22, +30, 118 PIM

Andy Taranto (undrafted – committed to Alaska) scored on the power play – his second goal of the game - for Fargo to give the hometown Force a 4-3 win and 3-0 series sweep of No.2 Omaha. Fargo is the first USHL team to advance and will play the winner of Lincoln and Sioux Falls, which is tied 1-1. Witkowski’s first career playoff goal came on the power play.

WHL Playoffs – Conference Semi-Finals

Tri-City Americans 2 @ Kelowna Rockets 6
Kelowna wins Best of 7 series 4-2
[i]C Mitch Fadden, TC: 0-1-1, -1, 2 PIM (hooking).
Playoff totals: 10 GP, 3-13-16, +7, 8 PIM
Season totals: 63 GP, 37-39-76, +24, 49 PIM

Kelowna won its fourth straight in the series to knock the Tri-City Americans out of the 2009 playoffs. Fadden returned to the Ams after missing Game 5 with an arm injury and registered an assist to extend his point streak to 9 games. Now, Lightning fans will play the waiting game and see how the contract situation with Fadden plays out. He is out of junior eligibility and the Lightning farm is desperately in need of his skill-set.

Vancouver Giants 3 @ Spokane Chiefs 2 (2-OT)
Best of 7 series tied 3-3
G Dustin Tokarski, SPO: OT Loss, 37 saves on 40 shots
Playoff totals: 11 GP, 7-3-1, 1.76 GAA, .944 sv%, 1 shutout, 1 assist
Season totals: 54 GP, 34-18-0-2, 1.97 GAA, .937 sv%, 7 shutouts
C James Wright, VAN: 2-1-3, +3, 0 PIM
Playoff totals: 10 GP, 3-5-8, +5, 4 PIM
Season totals: 71 GP, 21-26-47, +26, 54 PIM

Wright scored two goals for the Giants and set up possible Lightning draft target Evander Kane with the winner in double overtime to force a Game 7 in this 1 vs. 4 series. Wright and Kane reportedly broke in on a 2-1 and Kane deked Tokarski to the ice before potting the winner. He also added an assist. Spokane had tied the game with just over a minute left in regulation. Game 7 is back in Vancouver on Tuesday. This series feels a lot like the Spokane-Tri City thriller from last year that was packed with overtimes. Vancouver held a 40-33 shot advantage in the game. They will no doubt come out flying on home ice on Tuesday.


Michael Ward and Cape Breton will attempt to eliminate the Quebec Remparts Monday night in Quebec City. The Screaming Eagles lead the series 3-2.