N.A. Juniors Game Night: 2/24

Spokane Chiefs 2 @ Vancouver Giants 5
G Dustin Tokarski, SPO: Loss, 34 saves on 39 shots
Season totals: 45 GP, 29-14-0-2, 1.94 GAA, .937 sv%, 6 shutouts
C James Wright, VAN: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM
Season totals: 60 GP, 17-24-41, +17, 41 PIM

A big game for both of these WHL heavyweights and it was not one of the best for Dustin Tokarski. The WHL MVP candidate allowed five goals in the loss, including another early goal that put his team down in the first period. James Wright fed a soft pass at the blueline to Andrej Kudrna, who broke in on a partial breakaway before fanning on his attempt at a slap shot. The off-speed puck fooled Tokarski, sliding under his pads as he sat in the butterfly. It was Vancouver's second shot of the game. Mitch Fadden beat him on the game's first shot in the Tri-City matchup on Sunday.

Evander Kane beat him on the power play to tie the game at 2 for Vancouver when he deftly deflected a point shot up and over Tokarski’s leg into the top of the net. Adam Basford beat Tokarski mid-way through the second on a backhanded shot from the bottom of the cirle – much like Sidney Crosby’s vs. the New York Rangers recently (except not on the rush) – that Tokarski had no chance on and Basford looked as surprised as anyone it went in. That goal gave the Giants a lead they would never relinquish.

Vancouver moved to 50-7-1-3 on the year. They are 15 points ahead of Tri-City for the top spot in the West. Spokane sits in third at 39-19-0-3, one point ahead of Kelowna and eight back of the Americans.