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WHL: Blazers' Leclerc stops 58 to turn back Giants

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The Canadian Press
3/12/2009 2:27:32 AM
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The Kamloops Blazers needed a stellar performance from goaltender Justin Leclerc against the Western Conference's best team to keep their playoff picture intact.

Leclerc stopped 58 shots to lead the Blazers to a 3-1 Western Hockey League victory over the Vancouver Giants on Wednesday night.

Leclerc, who stopped all 42 shots he faced through the first two periods, lost his shutout bid at 14:37 of the third period.

His goaltending heroics were timely as Seattle beat Prince George 5-2 on Wednesday. The Thunderbirds are just a point back of fifth-place Kamloops in the West.

Elsewhere in the WHL it was: Swift Current 4 Brandon 2; Edmonton 4 Kootenay 2; Prince Albert 6 Regina 5; Kelowna 6 Portland 2; and Spokane 7 Everett 2.

At Kamloops, B.C., Shayne Wiebe, with two goals , and Tyler Shattock scored for the Blazers (33-31-2-4). Evander Kane replied for the Giants (48-7-1-3), who have locked up first place in the West.

Vancouver goaltender Tyson Sexsmith had a rough night, turning aside just 13 shots.

Thunderbirds 5 Cougars 2

At Kent, Wash., Greg Scott scored twice to lead Seattle over Prince George.

Chris Cloud, Charles Wells and Jim O'Brien also scored for Seattle (33-31-1-4).

Tyler Halliday and Parker Stanfield replied for Prince George (25-42-0-2).

Broncos 4 Wheat Kings 2

At Brandon, Man., Travis Yonkman stopped 35 shots to backstop Swift Current  to a win over the Wheat Kings.

Keegan Dansereau, Geordie Wudrick, Taylor Vause and Michael Stickland scored for the Broncos (40-28-1-1).

Cale Jefferies and Matt Calvert replied for the Wheat Kings (46-19-3-2).

Oil Kings 4 Ice 2

At Edmonton, Jeff Lee's one-handed effort halfway through the third lifted the Oil Kings to a win over Kootenay.

Craig McCallum, Brendan Lockerby and Tyler Hlookoff also scored for Edmonton (29-32-4-5).

Drew Czerwonka scored twice for the Ice (34-28-2-6).

Raiders 6 Pats 5

At Prince Albert, Sask., Justin Bernhardt had a goal and three assists to lead the Raiders to a win over Regina.

Jordan Rowley added a goal and two assists while Nathan Deck, James Dobrowolski, Ryan McDonald and Michael MacAngus also scored for Prince Albert (30-35-4-1), which stormed back after falling behind 4-1 in the first period.

Jordan Eberle scored three goals while Garrett Mitchell and Brett Leffler also scored for the Pats (27-37-1-5).

Rockets 6 Winter Hawks 2

At Kelowna, B.C., Mikael Backlund had a two-goal night as the Rockets rung up Portland.

Tyson Barrie, Lucas Bloodoff, Jamie Benn and Cody Almond also scored for Kelowna (44-21-1-3).

Brad Ross and Chris Francis replied for Portland (18-47-2-2).

Chiefs 7 Silvertips 2

At Spokane, Wash., Drayson Bowman scored and added three assists as the Chiefs downed Everett.

Brady Calla scored twice while Levko Koper, Ondrej Roman, Tyler Johnson and Dustin Donaghy also scored for Spokane (44-22-0-3). Mitch Wahl added three assists.

Mike Alexander and Dan Iwanski replied for Everett (26-34-7-2).

Kamloops Blazers (Photo: TSN)

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(Photo: TSN)
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