Evander Kane didn't waste any time getting back to business with the Vancouver Giants. and his timing couldn't be better.
Kane. fresh off his gold medal win with Team Canada at the World Junior Championships. scored two goals and added an assist as Vancouver dumped the Kootenay Ice 4-1 in Western Hockey League action Friday night.
Kane was the youngest player to crack Team Canada's roster and finished the tournament with six points (two goals. four assists) in six games. impressive totals for a 17-year-old who only joined the team after Dana Tyrell injured his knee.
The Vancouver native leads the Giants in goal-scoring with 24 in 29 games. equalling his total from last season in less than half the time (in 2007-08. he scored 24 goals in 65 games).
Kane came back just in time for Vancouver (33-3-0-3). which struggled in its past two games. The Giants needed overtime to down the lowly Red Deer Rebels 2-1 before managing only one goal against the Kamloops Blazers. who ended Vancouver's 11-game winning streak.
Those games marked the first two times all season that the Giants failed to score three goals or more.
Elsewhere in the WHL. it was: Brandon 4. Saskatoon 3 (OT); Edmonton 3. Moose Jaw 1; Everett 3. Prince George 2 (SO); Kamloops 4. Chilliwack 3 (SO); Kelowna 5. Portland 4 (SO); Prince Albert 3. Lethbridge 2; Swift Current 5. Regina 3; and Tri-City 4. Seattle 3 (SO).
At Cranbrook. B.C.. Nick Ross. in his first game in a Giants uniform after being acquired from Kamloops earlier in the week. opened the scoring with a slapshot from the point late in the first period. James Henry made it 4-1 for Vancouver with less than two minutes left in the game.
John Negrin had the lone marker for the Ice (19-18-2-4).
Casey Pierro-Zabotel finished the game with three assists while Tyson Sexsmith stopped 18 shots for his 22nd win of the season. Nathan Lieuwen made 28 saves to take the loss for Kootenay.
Wheat Kings 4. Blades 3 (OT)
At Brandon. Man.. Colby Robak scored the winning goal on a power play 24 seconds into overtime as the Wheat Kings beat Saskatoon.
Andrew Clark notched two goals and captain Keith Aulie - playing his first game since helping Canada win gold at the world junior championship - also scored for Brandon (26-13-2-1).
Darian Dziurzynski. Gaelan Patterson and Josh Nicholls replied for the Blades (27-11-3-0). who saw their East Division lead dwindle to three points over the second-place Wheat Kings.
Oil Kings 3. Warriors 1
At Moose Jaw. Sask.. first-period goals by Adrian Van de Mosselaer and Clayton Cumiskey paced Edmonton past the Warriors.
Michael St. Croix. 15. scored his first WHL goal in his league debut for the Oil Kings (19-20-2-4).
Ian Duval replied for Moose Jaw (14-26-1-1). which finished 0-for-8 on the power play.
Silvertips 3. Cougars 2 (SO)
At Everett. Wash.. Shane Harper had a goal. an assist and scored the winner in the shootout. leading the Silvertips over Prince George.
Zack Dailey also scored in regulation and Kellan Tochkin tallied in the shootout for Everett (19-16-5-0).
Brian Matte scored both regulation goals and Brett Connolly scored in the shootout for the Cougars (15-26-0-2).
Blazers 4. Bruins 3 (SO)
At Kamloops. B.C.. C.J. Stretch scored the only goal of the shootout to give the Blazers the victory over Chilliwack.
Stretch. Kenton Dulle and Jimmy Bubnick scored in regulation for Kamloops (19-21-1-4).
The Bruins (12-26-2-3) got goals from Brett Ward. Alexander Wiklund and Andy Smith.
Rockets 5. Winter Hawks 4 (SO)
At Kelowna. B.C.. Brandon McMillan scored the shootout winner as the Rockets edged Portland.
McMillan also recorded three assists. Cody Almond. with two goals. Tyson Barrie and Stepan Novotny scored in regulation time for Kelowna (25-16-0-0). which won for the fifth time in seven games since the Christmas break.
Luke Walker. Stefan Schneider. Radim Valchar and Colin Reddin replied for the Winter Hawks (12-26-1-1). who are a surprising 4-2-0-1 since Dec. 27.
Raiders 3. Hurricanes 2
At Lethbridge. Alta.. Justin Bernhardt assisted on all three Prince Albert goals against the Hurricanes.
Igor Revenko and Brandon Herrod each had a goal and an assist for the Raiders (21-23-2-0). Jordan Rowley also scored.
Austin Fyten and Drew Hoff replied for Lethbridge (20-21-0-2).
Broncos 5. Pats 3
At Regina. Swift Current spoiled the homecoming of World Junior Hockey Championship gold medallists Jordan Eberle and Colten Teubert. scoring four second-period goals to down the Pats.
Jan Dalecky. Eric Doyle. Matt Tassone. Spencer McAvoy and Geordie Wudrick scored for the Broncos (25-18-0-1).
Eberle and Matt Robertson each had a goal and an assist for Regina (19-21-1-4). while Matt Strueby also scored.
Americans 4. Thunderbirds 3 (SO)
At Kent. Wash.. Adam Hughesman scored the only goal in the shootout to lift Tri-City over the Thunderbirds.
Mitch Fadden scored two goals for Tri-City (28-11-0-2). Taylor Procyshen added a single.
Greg Scott had a pair for Seattle (17-21-1-3) while Lindsay Nielsen also scored.