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WHL: Tokarski leads Spokane over Pickard and Tri-City

The Canadian Press

1/18/2009 8:21:10 AM

The last time Dustin Tokarski and Chet Pickard were on the ice together, they were celebrating Team Canada's latest gold-medal triumph at the World Junior Championship in Ottawa.

On Saturday, the two Western Hockey League stars faced off against each other in what proved to be a goaltenders' duel as the Spokane Chiefs defeated their U.S. Division rival Tri-City Americans 2-1 in a shootout.

Tokarski was perfect in the shootout for Spokane (27-14-0-3), mimicking his performance in the WJC semifinals against Russia, when he stopped both Russian shooters to help Canada complete a miraculous comeback and advance to the gold medal game. The Tampa Bay draft pick leads the WHL with a 1.90 goals-against average and a save percentage of .940 through 30 starts.

Pickard, who was relegated to backup status for the elimination round of the WJC, allowed a shootout goal from Drayson Bowman. The Nashville draft pick made 34 saves for Tri-City (31-12-0-3) in regulation and overtime.

Elsewhere in the WHL, it was: Brandon 7, Prince Albert 4; Edmonton 8, Chilliwack 1; Kamloops 5, Portland 1; Prince George 3, Kelowna 2 (SO); Regina 5, Moose Jaw 4; Saskatoon 3, Lethbridge 2 (OT); Seattle 3, Everett 1; Swift Current 8, Kootenay 5; and Vancouver 9, Red Deer 3.

At Kennewick, Wash., all of the scoring during regulation was in the second period as Brendan Shinnimin put the Americans on the board at 8:54, while Ondrej Roman tied the game at 17:58.

Tokarski finished with 40 saves. Spokane trails Tri-City by eight points for the U.S. Division lead.

Wheat Kings 7, Raiders 4

At Prince Albert, Sask., Brayden Schenn had a goal and two assists to help Brandon defeat the Raiders.

Jay Fehr, Scott Glennie and Brodie Melnychuk all had a goal and an assist, while Keith Aulie, Cale Jefferies and Darren Bestland also scored for the Wheat Kings (28-13-3-1). Andrew Clark added three assists.

Justin Bernhardt scored twice for Prince Albert (22-25-2-1). Ryan Harrison and Igor Revenko added a goal and an assist each.

Oil Kings 8, Bruins 1

At Edmonton, Brendan Dowd led the way with a hat-trick and an assist as the Oil Kings steamrolled Chilliwack.

Shayne Neigum scored twice and Jeff Lee added a goal and two assists for Edmonton (21-22-2-4). Brent Raedeke and Robin Soudek also scored.

Andy Smith had the lone marker for the Bruins (12-30-2-3).

Blazers 5, Winter Hawks 1

At Portland, Ore., C.J. Stretch scored twice in the first period to lead Kamloops over the Winter Hawks.

Jimmy Bubnick, Curtis Kulchar and Seth Compton also scored for the Blazers (21-22-1-4).

Killian Hutt replied for Portland (12-30-1-2).

Cougars 3, Rockets 2 (SO)

At Prince George, B.C., Brett Connolly scored the only goal in the shootout to lift the Cougars over Kelowna.

In the first period, the 16-year-old Connolly scored his 20th goal of the season to open the scoring for Prince George (18-27-0-2). Brian Matte scored on a third-period power play to tie the game 2-2.

Ian Duval and Colin Long found the net in the second period for the Rockets (26-18-0-1).

Pats 5, Warriors 4

At Moose Jaw, Sask., Brett Leffler scored the tying and winning goals in the final 69 seconds to spoil a strong game by the Warriors as Regina came back to win.

Leffler, who also had an assist, scored the winner with four seconds remaining in the game. Victory Bartley had a goal and an assist, while Jordan Weal and Tomas Hricina also scored for the Pats (22-22-1-4).

Ryan Stanton, Jason Bast, Martin Filo and Matt MacKay scored for Moose Jaw (14-30-1-1).

Blades 3, Hurricanes 2 (OT)

At Lethbridge, Alta., Derek Hulak scored his second goal of the game three minutes and 23 seconds into overtime to lift Saskatoon over the Hurricanes.

Travis Toomey also scored for the Blades (31-11-3-1).

Kyle Beach and Dwight King replied for Lethbridge (23-21-2-2).

Thunderbirds 3, Silvertips 1

At Kent, Wash., Chris Cloud scored his 10th goal of the season only 18 seconds into the third period to lead the Thunderbirds past Everett.

Jim O'Brien opened the scoring for Seattle (19-22-1-3) and Jeremy Boyer added an insurance goal.

The Silvertips (21-18-5-0) got a power-play goal from Tyler Maxwell.

Broncos 8, Ice 5

At Cranbrook, B.C., Matt Tassone scored a hat-trick to lead Swift Current over the Ice.

Geordie Wudrick (two goals, one assist), Keegan Dansereau (a goal and two assists) and Spencer McAvoy (three assists) all had three-point nights for the Broncos (26-21-0-1). Eric Doyle added a goal and an assist and Jordan Peddle rounded out the scoring for Swift Current.

Jesse Ismond, Andrew Bailey and Brayden McNabb each had a goal and an assist for Kootenay (21-19-2-4). Matt Fraser and Tylan Stephens also scored.

Giants 9, Rebels 3

At Red Deer, Alta., Casey Pierro-Zabotel had a five-point night with two goals and three assists as Vancouver thumped the Rebels.

Garry Nunn also scored twice for the Giants (37-4-0-3), with Alex Rodgers, Craig Schira, Craig Cunningham, Brent Regner and Evander Kane adding singles.

Replying for Red Deer (16-23-1-6) were Cass Mappin, Landon Ferraro and Carter Smith.