What a game.
Tokarski, selected by the Lightning in the 5th round (122nd overall) of the 2008 draft, is currently playing for Team Canada at the 2009 World Junior Championships.
The 19-year-old is midway through his third season with Spokane of the Western Hockey League where he has posted a record of 16-9-2 with four shutouts and a 1.97 goals-against average.
Tokarski got Canada's first start in the tournament and responded with a series of huge saves in the opening period to keep the game scoreless before Canada's onslaught began. After Canada had a snowman on the board, the only question would be if Tokarski got his shutout. He was beaten late to nullify that, but his big-game play came through once again - this time on the international stage in what he called the biggest start of his young career.
Canada plays Borat's homeland on Sunday. Chet Pickard will likely get the start in that game.
Tokarski got the full game for Canada, but was beaten early when Finland's Nestori Lahde caught St. Louis Blues super-prospect Alex Pietrangelo flat footed resulting in a semi-breakaway. Lahde put a high wrister over Tokarski's shoulder. Tokarski had little chance on the second goal as a Finn was left alone in front and after taking a pass from behind the net, potted a wrister over Tokarski's arm as Dustin tried to square to the shooter and eliminate space.
Tokarski will watch as Chet Pickard gets the next exhibition start for Canada against Slovakia.
Team Canada Notes:
Canada called in Evander Kane, a BP favorite and teammate of Lightning prospect James Wright in Vancouver, to presumably take the spot of the injured Dana Tyrell. Tyrell suffered a "significant" knee injury Friday night in an exhibition game vs. Sweden and his tournament officially over.
Also, Canada coach Pat Quinn said the goaltenders' peformance Friday night did not sway him one way or another on a starter. Dustin Tokarski (0 GAA Friday) and Chet Pickard (2 GAA Friday) will go into today's game neck and neck.
Prince George Spruce Kings 1 @ Victoria Grizzlies 2
W Justin Courtnall, VIC: 0-1-1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 38 GP, 12-31-43, 62 PIM
Courtnall goes into the Christmas break with a clear future (Boston University in the fall) and the Grizzlies scoring lead. He is 13th in league scoring. Powellâ€™s Darcy Oakes, 31-38-69 in 39 games, is 19 points ahead of anyone else in the league. The 6-0, 175-pound Oakes is a 20 year old winger from Ontario.
Des Moines @ Fargo Force - POSTPONED
Inclement weather in the upper-midwest forced the postponement of all USHL games.
The QMJHL, OHL, WHL are all off until December 27 for Christmas.