VANCOUVER, B.C. - Garry Nunn scored 1:56 into overtime to lift the Vancouver Giants to a 1-0 win over the Spokane Chiefs in Game 7 of their WHL Western Conference semifinal on Tuesday.
Standing in the slot area, Nunn deflected a Nick Ross shot from the point that hit the stick of Spokane forward Mitch Wahl and past netminder Dustin Tokarski. It was the second game-winner of the playoffs for Nunn, who was suspended for the first two games of the post-season for violating team rules.
The Giants will now face the Kelowna Rockets in the Western Conference finals starting Saturday in Vancouver
Casey Pierro-Zabotel, who led the WHL in scoring during the regular season, also drew an assist on Nunn's overtime winner.
The Giants avenged last year's second-round loss to Spokane, which eventually went on to win the WHL crown and Memorial Cup.
Tokarski made 40 saves in the loss, while Vancouver's Tyson Sexsmith stopped 29 shots for the shutout.
Spokane went 0-for-3 on the power play. Vancouver did not score on their lone attempt.
Both teams came out cautiously in the first period, generating few scoring chances. Spokane's best opportunity came in the final two minutes as a puck that Vancouver goaltender Sexsmith initially saved hit the crossbar.
In the regular season, Vancouver finished first in the Western Conference while Spokane placed fourth.
It looked like the Giants would win the series easily after taking the first two games decisively at home.
But the Chiefs roared back to take a 3-2 lead with two wins at home and another in Vancouver - a quadruple-overtime affair that ranks as the second-longest game in WHL history.
However, the Giants prevailed in double overtime in Sunday's sixth game in Spokane to force Tuesday's series finale.