Memorial Cup: Chiefs beat Kitchener 2-1Posted: Updated:
SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane Chiefs moved to 2-0 in the MasterCard Memorial Cup with a 2-1 win over the host Kitchener Rangers on Sunday night as Dustin Tokarski made 36 saves and Drayson Bowman scored his fourth goal in two games.
Kitchener dropped to 1-1 and gives three teams in the four team tournament with one loss. Belleville lost to Spokane on Saturday night and the Rangers defefated the Gatineau Olympiques in the opener on Friday night. A win by Belleville in tomorrow night's round robin game will give the Chiefs a spot in the Memorial Cup final on Sunday, May 25th.
"I'm rooting for who tomorrow...Belleville," Chiefs head coach Bill Peters joked.
The Rangers scored first, just 4:21 into the game, while skating on their first power play of the night. A Chiefs shot from the point was deflected out into the neutral zone and Matt Halischuk won the race to the puck. His wrist shot beat Chiefs starter Dustin Tokarski to the stick side and gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead.
It was the only goal the Rangers would get for the rest of the night, "The advance scouting report we had on them was that hey can smother you and that is what happened tonight," Kitchener bench boss Peter DeBoer said. "You're not going to win many games this time of year scoring one goal."
Spokane tied it up with an innocent flip from the blue line as Chiefs defenseman Justin Falk fluttered past Josh Unice and into the cage for the 19-year-olds first goal of the tournament. Spokane outshot the Rangers 18-10 through one.
The lone goal of the second was Bowman's fourth of the tournament and came off a drop pass by Mitch Wahl. The 17-year-old drew the defense into the slot and left it for Bowman who had nothing but time and space to snap it past Unice at 5:24 of the period.
A pair of hooking calls, one by Stefan Ulmer at 18:46 and another by Falk at the buzzer put the Chiefs down two men to start the final period but Spokane was able to kill 1:14 of five-on-three hockey and the remainder of the penalty on the back half. "We just had to stay smart," Jared Spurgeon said. "We stayed in our triangle and kept it simple."
"They did a great job, as they always do, and kept shots to the outside," Tokarski said.
"That was a bit more like Chiefs hockey," the goaltender said as he compared Saturday's 5-4 overtime track meet to tonight's low scoring game. "We're more of a systematic team and don't like the run and gun. We buckled down tonight and played well defensively."
"I think our team game will get better as the tourney goes along," Peters said. "And there is room to improve."
Spokane will watch Monday's game before they play their final game of the round robin on Tuesday night against the Olympiques. As of now, the Chiefs have guaranteed at least a spot in the semi-final game on Friday night.