Tokarski Stops 60 in 4OT Win; Barberio's Season Ends

N.A. Juniors Playoff Game Night: 4/10

Witkowski and Fargo strike first ... Cunti and L'Oceanic moving on to face Volts ... Tokarski comes out a winner in second longest WHL game ever ... Barberio going home ... Fadden watches as Ams fall at home.

USHL – Division Semifinals

Fargo Force 6 @ Omaha Lancers 2
Fargo leads Best of 5 series 1-0
D Luke Witkowski, FGO: 0-1-1, +2, 4 PIM (tripping, roughing), 3 SOG[i]
Playoff totals: 1 GP, 0-1-1, +2, 4 PIM
Season totals: 55 GP, 6-16-22, +30, 118 PIM

Witkowski earned an assist on Fargo’s shorthanded goal, helping the Force to win and getting an important lead on the road in this shortened series. Game 2 is Saturday in Omaha.

QMJHL Playoffs – Conference Semi-Finals

Rimouski Oceanic 1 @ Moncton Wildcats 0
Rimouski wins Best of 7 series 4-1
[i]W/C Luca Cunti, RIM: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Playoff totals: 9 GP, 3-3-6, +3, 10 PIM
Season totals: 57 GP, 20-25-45, +10, 32 PIM
D Mark Barberio, MCT: 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 0 SOG
Playoff totals: 10 GP, 0-4-4, +5, 6 PIM
Season totals: 66 GP, 15-30-45, +9, 42 PIM

Rimouski scored late in the first period and goaltender Maxim Gougeon made it hold up and the Oceanic eliminated the higher-ranked Wildcats. This ends a fine season for Moncton’s Mark Barberio, who, barring unforeseen circumstances, will be back in the QMJHL again next year and should be among the offensive leaders for defensemen. He started the playoffs off with a bang with 4 assists and a plus-6 rating in his first game, but went scoreless and -1 the rest of the way. Rimouski moves on to play No.1 Drummondville.

Quebec Remparts 2 @ Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 3
Cape Breton leads Best of 7 series 3-2
D Michael Ward, CB: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Playoff totals: 9 GP, 1-5-6, +6, 12 PIM
Season totals: 65 GP, 7-27-34, +9, 105 PIM

Cape Breton, who dropped their first two games at home in this 2-3-2 series, earned an important Game 5 win and takes a series lead back to Quebec City.

WHL Playoffs – Conference Semi-Finals

Kelowna Rockets 5 @ Tri-City Americans 2
Kelowna leads Best of 7 series 3-2
C Mitch Fadden, TC: Did not play (injured).
Playoff totals: 9 GP, 3-12-17, +6, 4 PIM
Season totals: 63 GP, 37-39-76, +24, 49 PIM

Kelowna wins the pivotal Game 5 over an Americans team missing their leading scorer, Lightning prospect Mitch Fadden. Fadden left Game 4 in the third period after a hit by Tyler Myers, and was seen with his arm in a sling after the game. Chet Pickard stopped 20 of 24 in the loss. Game 5 is Sunday in Kelowna.

Spokane Chiefs 3 @ Vancouver Giants 2 (4-OT)
Spokane leads Best of 7 series 3-2
G Dustin Tokarski, SPO: Win, 60 saves on 62 shots, 2 PIM (delay-of-game), *First Star*
Playoff totals: 10 GP, 7-3-0, 2.13 GAA, .931 sv%, 1 shutout, 1 assist
Season totals: 54 GP, 34-18-0-2, 1.97 GAA, .937 sv%, 7 shutouts
C James Wright, VAN: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM
Playoff totals: 8 GP, 1-4-5, +2, 4 PIM
Season totals: 71 GP, 21-26-47, +26, 54 PIM

Tokarski stole another one, stopping 60 in a four overtime thriller in Vancouver. It was the second longest game in WHL history. Rookie Blake Gal scored his first playoff goal for the Chiefs at the 6:05 mark of the fourth extra session. Tokarski had been charged for delay-of-game in the second overtime. He was named First Star for the second consecutive game, giving up two power play goals. He has made 101 saves in his last two games. Tyson Sexsmith (Sharks) was Second Star in the game, stopping 54 for the Giants. James Wright was on the ice for the game tying goal, which was scored by Dustin Bowman of Spokane early in the third period. Evander Kane had a goal and assist for Vancouver. Spokane can close the series out at home Sunday.

*Some information for this report taken from the WHL blog “Taking Note,” by Gregg Drinnan of the Kamloops Daily News.