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Kane scores twice as Giants beat Americans in battle of division leaders

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VANCOUVER, B.C. - Evander Kane scored two goals and Bronson Maschmeyer added a goal and an assist as the Vancouver Giants won a battle of Western Hockey League division leaders, beating the Tri-City Americans 6-2 Wednesday.

Vancouver has already clinched the West Division, while Tri-City is in a battle with Spokane for U.S. Division title.

Vancouver (55-7-1-3) jumped in front at 1:03 of the first period. Kane scored his team-best 43rd goal of the season after picking up a loose puck beside the net and flicking a backhand shot past a helpless Drew Owsley in the Tri-City net.

The Giants doubled their lead at 5:40 of the first without having to do any work themselves. Tri-City's Brett Plouffe skated in front of his own net and collided with teammate Riley McIntosh. McIntosh fell into the crease and knocked the puck into his own net.

Alex Rodgers was credited with his ninth goal of the season despite that fact that he was hovering out near the Tri-City blue-line and wasn't even close to the play as it unfolded.

Kane added his second of the night on the power play at 12:58 of the second. Kane led a fast rush on the left side into the Tri-City zone. His initial shot was stopped but Owsley couldn't hold it and Kane banged in the rebound from in close.

Kane's 44th goal established a new Giants record.

Adam Basford rounded off a strong second period for the Giants. Basford led a two on one rush, cut in front of the net and unleashed a quick snap shot for his 13th of the season at 16:00.

Tri City (47-17-0-3) got one back before the period was out. Brooks Macek found Plouffe alone in front of the net and it was a simple tap-in for the right-winger for his 16th of the season at 17:43.

Vancouver regained their four goal advantage within the first three minutes of the third period. Maschmeyer scored his second of the season, beating Americans goalie Brett Martyniuk, who had replaced Owsley to start the third period.

Casey Pierro-Zabotel rounded off Vancouver's scoring night at 7:58 of the third. Pierro-Zabotel was in front of the net and deflected a shot from the point. It was his team-leading 111th point of the season.

Tri-City's Justin Feser scored an unassisted goal at 11:56 to conclude the scoring.

Tyson Sexsmith made 24 saves for Vancouver. Owsley and Martyniuk combined for 27 stops.

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