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Blum nets winner as Giants beat Chiefs 3-1, even Conference semifinal

NHL.com @NHL

VANCOUVER - Jon Blum's second-period goal proved to be the winner as the Vancouver Giants beat the Spokane Chiefs 3-1 on Friday night to even their WHL playoff series at two games apiece.

Blum gave Vancouver a 2-1 lead at 11:24 of the middle frame as his point shot found its way past Spokane goaltender Dustin Tokarski. Mario Bliznak and Spencer Machacek, with an empty-netter in the final minute, also tallied for Vancouver before a raucous crowd of 8,899 at the Pacific Coliseum.

Levko Koper scored for Spokane, which suffered only its second loss in the past 18 games, including an eight-game winning streak at the end of the regular season and a first-round series sweep over Everett.

Koper's shot in the final minute clanged off the crossbar past Vancouver goaltender Tyson Sexsmith just moments before Machacek's goal secured the win.

The Giants outshot the Chiefs 38-30.

Spokane was blanked on four power-play chances while Vancouver went zero-for-three.

Koper opened the scoring 3:28 into the game as he converted Tyler Johnson's pass on a 2-on-1 against Blum. Bliznak created a 1-1 tie with ony 1:16 left in the first period as he fired in a loose puck during a scramble.

The fifth game of the best-of-seven Western Conference series goes here Saturday night.

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