VANCOUVER, B.C. – Blake Gal scored at 6:05 of the fourth overtime period to lead the Spokane Chiefs to a 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Giants early Saturday morning.
The spectacular victory gives the Chiefs a 3-2 lead in its best-of-7 Western Hockey League Western Conference semifinal playoff series with the Giants.
The game was the second longest in WHL playoff history, going for 126 minutes and 5 seconds. The longest game was 136 minutes, 56 seconds between the Kamloops Blazers and Kootenay Ice, March 25, 2003. The Ice won 3-2.
The game ended at 12:41 a.m.
Gal picked up the puck at center ice after a brilliant defensive play by Stefan Ulmer in the Chiefs’ zone. Gal broke in one-on-one on defender Mike Berube. Gal shot the puck and it bounced off Berube’s skate and into the net passed a bewildered Tyson Sexsmith in the Giants’ goal.
Chiefs’ goaltender Dustin Tokarski and Sexsmith both sparkled during almost seven full periods of hockey. Tokarski made many key saves in the first OT period during a Giants’ power play.
Tokarski faced 64 shots in the Chiefs’ goal, while Sexsmith faced 59.
It was the first game that went to overtime for the Chiefs and the second time this playoff season for the Giants.
Tyler Johnson and Drayson Bowman scored for the Chiefs in regulation time, while Evander Kane and Brent Regner tallied for the Giants.
The two teams will play Game 6 back in Spokane on Sunday at 6 p.m. Game 7, if necessary, is scheduled for Tuesday in Vancouver.
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