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Blum scores twice as Vancouver takes 2-0 series lead over Spokane

NHL.com @NHL

VANCOUVER, B.C. - Jon Blum scored two goals as the Vancouver Giants thumped the Spokane Chiefs 4-1 to take a 2-0 lead in their Western Hockey League Western Conference semifinal series on Saturday night.

Craig Cunningham and Casey Pierro-Zabotel also scored for the Giants, who enjoyed a 34-19 edge in shots and led 2-0 after the first period and 4-0 after the second.

Vancouver coach Don Hay moved into a tie for second place in all-time playoff victories with 87. He equalled the mark set by former New Westminster Bruins bench boss Ernie (Punch) McLean, who watched the game.

McLean, a regular at Giants games, made sure that reporters knew his former Bruins player had matched the total. But Hay is still well short of former Portland and Edmonton coach Ken Hodge's 107 post-season wins.

Drayson Bowman found the net for Spokane in the third period to spoil Tyson Sexsmith's shutout bid, but the Chiefs were outclassed for the second night in a row as they showed more interest in taking penalties than scoring.

Blum opened the scoring five minutes into the game as he knocked in Evander Kane's pass from behind the net following a scramble.

Cunningham gave the Giants a 2-0 lead with the goal that proved to be the winner on a power play at 16:23. He put Brent Regner's rebound off the end boards past Spokane goaltender Dustin Tokarski.

Blum sent the Giants ahead 3-0 on another man-advantage situation at 6:11 of the second period as he put in Pierro-Zabotel's pass from behind the net on a play that was almost identical to the defenceman's first goal.

Pierro-Zabotel increased Vancouver's advantage to 4-0 about three minutes later as he scored on a two-on-one with Kane.

Sexsmith made 18 saves for the win, while Tokarski stopped 30 shots.

The third and fourth games of the series go Tuesday and Wednesday in Spokane, Wash.

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