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Game Notes For Game Seven

April 13, 2009 - Western Hockey League (WHL) - Vancouver Giants News Release

VANCOUVER BC - The Vancouver Giants and Spokane Chiefs will meet in the seventh and deciding game of their KAL TIRE WHL Semi Final Series on Tuesday night at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver. Vancouver forced a deciding game with a dramatic come from behind 3-2 double overtime victory on Sunday night in Spokane.

Sunday's game had a little bit of everything...funny hops great goaltending, disallowed goals, phantom calls and a spectacular finish. Tyler Johnson was able to get the home town Chiefs on the board early in the first period, turning a Vancouver turnover into the opening goal of the game.

The Chiefs would try and sit on that lead after that, and we quite successful until the Giants finally were able to get a bounce of their own. After a Giants chance down low, Lance Bouma centred the puck back to a pinching Jon Blum, who let fire a slap shot from about 25 feet away that was going to go wide...until it hit James Wright in the pants and deflected by the Chiefs Dustin Tokarski to tie the game at one. Midway thru the third, Wright scored again, this time more conventionally, as he took a feed from Evander Kane and fired the puck under the crossbar past Tokarski to give the Giants their first lead of the night 2-1. The Giants would then have to kill off two penalties late, one to Jon Blum and one to Nick Ross, and they did so successfully. But then Stefan Ulmer would throw a shot from the right point towards the Vancouver goal. The shot may have ended up 10 feet wide of the goal, had it not hit the helmet of a ducking Nick Ross. The ricochet off Ross would pinball past a startled Sexsmith and we were tied up at two heading to the extra frame.

In overtime, the Giants thought they had it won in the first minute as Mike Piluso jammed in a Nick Ross point blast into the back of the goal. The only problem was that referee Matt Kirk thought that Tokarski had the puck, which the replay clearly showed he did not, and blew the whistle before the puck had crossed the line. NO GOAL. The Giants were down, but not out. Later on in the first overtime, Drayson Bowman would beat Sexsmith, but rattle his wicked wrister off the post behind the Giants keeper. The Giants would then jam a second goal behind Tokarski in overtime, only to see that goal waved off because the net had dislodged before the puck entered the Spokane goal. Two disallowed goals would deflate many teams, but Vancouver wanted new life...wanted a second chance, and they would have to go to double overtime to get it.

In the second overtime stanza, the Giants had just missed a chance by Jon Blum in the Chiefs zone and the Chiefs broke out, looking for an odd man rush. Defenseman Trevor Glass jumped up in the play, trying to reach an errant pass by Mitch Wahl. Forward Garry Nunn read the play and in one motion tipped the puck away from Glass, who was now caught out of position, and to Blum. Blum's one touch pass to James Wright would send the speedy forward into the Spokane zone on a two on one break with Evander Kane. Wright out waited defender Mike Reddington before sliding the perfect feed to Kane. Kane would do the rest, out waiting Tokarski and then slipping the puck into the yawning Spokane goal!

Giants 3...Spokane 2...we head to Game SEVEN!

Notes:

This will be the first time in Giants history that they will be hosting a GAME SEVEN. In the 2007 WHL Final, the Giants lost Game Seven to the Medicine Hat Tigers in the Hat.

The Spokane Chiefs fell to defeat for the first time these playoffs after entering the third period with the lead. Including the regular season, the Chiefs were 39-2 when holding a lead after forty minutes...make that 39-3 after Sunday's game.

The Vancouver Giants were 6-6-2-1 when trailing after forty in the regular season; they are now 1-1 in the playoffs when facing the same situation.

Tyson Sexsmith and Dustin Tokarski continue their duel between the pipes. While Tokarski has been busier, Sexsmith has been better, making many series saving stops in Game Six. In this series, Sexsmith has a 1.60 average and a .931 save percentage, while Tokarski has a 1.73 GAA and a .944 save percentage.

Thru the first six games, Vancouver has only allowed more than three goals once, in a 5-2 loss to Spokane in GAME THREE. During the regular season, the Giants posted a 53-4-2-0 record when holding the opposition to three or less. In the playoffs, the Giants are 7-2.

Spokane has held the Giants to three or less in all but one game, a 4-1 loss in Vancouver in GAME TWO. When the Giants are held to three or less, they posted a record of 11-9-2-1 in the regular season. So far in the playoffs, the Giants are 4-3 when scoring three or less.

In Games 4-6, a single goal decided the game. In one goal games so far in the playoffs, the Giants are 3-2. During the season, the Giants were 12-2-2-3 in one goal games.

The Giants and Chiefs have already played 451 minutes of hockey in the series, or the equivalent of 7 full games and one half game. By the time this series is complete; these teams will have played enough minutes in their seven game series to equal a nine game series!

GAME SEVEN IS TUESDAY NIGHT AT THE PACIFIC COLISEUM...tickets at TICKETMASTER. You can catch all the WHITE SPOT GIANTS HOCKEY ON AM 650. The TERASEN GAS PREGAME SHOW will be hosted by Brook Ward at the Pacific Dining Lounge at the Coliseum at 6:30 pm. Dave Sheldon and Jay Janower of GLOBAL TV will have the call of all the action at 7 pm.


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