VANCOUVER, B.C. - Evander Kane scored his 41st goal of the season as the Vancouver Giants beat the Spokane Chiefs 5-2 in Western Hockey League action Tuesday.
Vancouver won the battle between the last two Memorial Cup champions. The Giants won in 2007 while Spokane is the defending champion. It took Vancouver (50-7-1-3) just under two minutes to open the scoring as Andrej Kudrna scored while getting knocked down by Spokane defenceman Cory Baldwin.
Spokane (39-19-0-3) responded quickly. Brendan Kichton stopped an attempted Vancouver clearance before firing a hard slap shot that got by the traffic in front of the net and Vancouver goalie Tyson Sexsmith at 5:13.
Steve Kuhn gave the Chiefs the lead at 7:54. Kuhn picked up a loose puck off a big rebound from Sexsmith and snapped a quick shot that was helped in by the post to Sexsmith's right.
Vancouver tied the game on a power play at 14:36 to round out a busy first period. Kane was in the right place to bang in a rebound that had come off the post from a Brent Regner shot.
Vancouver took the lead for good thanks to Adam Basford's tenth goal of the season. Craig Cunningham fed a pass from the corner which found Basford alone in front of the net. Basford spun with the puck before letting a nice backhand go from the slot at 7:18 of the second period.
Vancouver's fourth came in the final minute of the second. Cunningham coaxed Tokarski to fall to the ice then banked a shot off the goalies prone body for his 25th goal of the season.
Craig Schira added an empty net goal in the final minute as the Giants held the Chiefs to only six shots in the third period.
Sexsmith made 22 saves for Vancouver. Tokarski stopped 34 shots for Spokane.