VANCOUVER, B.C. - Evander Kane showed why he is a strong candidate to play for Canada at the upcoming world junior hockey championships.
Kane scored two goals to lead the Vancouver Giants to a 4-2 Western Hockey League victory over the Regina Pats on Wednesday. Kane, projected as an early first-round choice in next summer's NHL draft, was one of five 17-year-olds invited earlier Wednesday to try out for coach Pat Quinn's Canadian entry into the world junior championships, a tournament usually dominated by 19-year-olds.
Todd Kennedy and Neil Manning also scored for the Giants as they improved to 22-2-0-3 before a crowd of 6,083 at the Pacific Coliseum.
Matt Delaney and Tomas Hricina, with two power play goals in the final two minutes, replied for Regina (17-12-1-3).
Despite allowing the late goals, Vancouver goaltender Tyson Sexsmith, a 19-year-old Priddis, Alta., product, performed well, recording 25 saves. He will try out for Canada for the second straight year after being cut during camp last winter.
The Giants outshot the Pats 39-27. Regina went two-for-six on the power play while Vancouver was blanked on one man-advantage opportunity.
Kennedy gave the Giants a 1-0 lead 14:50 into the first period as he put in Adam Basford's pass from the corner. Kane sent the Giants ahead 2-0 at 18:26 as he fired home Gary Nunn's drop pass on a three-on-two.
Kane has now recorded points in 23 of the 24 games that he has played this season.
The Giants outshot the Pats 12-2 in the first 20 minutes.
The Pats came out stronger in the second period and matched Vancouver's 12 shots, but neither team managed to score.
Manning gave Vancouver a 3-0 lead with a short-handed marker at 5:51 of the third period. He put in Mike Piluso's rebound after rushing up right wing and then feeding the puck to the left-winger.
Kane increased Vancouver's advantage to 4-0 with another short-handed goal at 13:25 as he made good on a second effort after being foiled on a breakaway by Regina netminder Linden Rowat.
Delaney spoiled Sexsmith's shutout bid during a five-on-three power play at 18:15 of the final frame, and Hricina made the score more respectable with another power play goal 65 seconds later.
NOTES-Regina centre Jordan Eberle and defenceman Colten Teubert were also invited Wednesday to audition for Canada's world junior squad . . . Giants defenceman Jon Blum has already been named to the U.S. team for the second straight year.