Chiefs double up Winterhawks
The Spokane Chiefs' special teams had a rough start on Saturday but ultimately made the difference in a 6-3 win over the Portland Winterhawks in front of 5,816 fans at Memorial Coliseum.
The Chiefs scored three power-]play goals to separate themselves after the Winterhawks opened the Western Hockey League game with two shorthanded tallies. Spokane finished 3 for 5 on the power play and held Portland scoreless on its seven power plays.
Eli Zummack and Jaret Anderson-Dolan had two goals apiece for Spokane (18-12-1-2).
Alex Overhardt, Skyler McKenzie and Ty Kolle scored for Portland (21-10-0-1). Portland has lost six of its last seven games and the Hawks' lead in the U.S. Division is one point over Everett heading into a Sunday game at Everett. Spokane and Tri-City are within four points of the division lead.
Cody Glass, back after being cut from Team Canada's training camp for the World Juniors Championship, made two nifty plays to send Overhardt and McKenzie in alone for shorthanded goals as Portland led 2-0 inside the first nine minutes of the first period.
The Winterhawks got of to a fast start as Glass sent first Alex Overhardt and then Skyler McKenzie on shorthanded breakaways that each converted against Spokane goalie Donovan Buskey.
But the Chiefs got those back with a pair of power-play goals off re-directed shots past Cole Kehler.
The first Spokane goal was scored at even strength 10:20 into the game. A shot deflected wide off of the Chiefs' Cedric Chenier, hit the end boards and bounced right back to for Chenier to stuff home. Zummack and Riley Woods then each deflected pucks past Kehler for power-play goals 1:35 apart to take a 3-2 lead after one period.
Anderson-Dolan then scored a nifty power-play goal off the rush, lefting the puck over Kehler's shoulder from a tight angle to make it 4-2 at 11:55 of the second period.
Kolle's third goal of the season off of Ilijah Colina's 10th assist of the year at 13:38 of the second got Portland to within 4-3.
But Zummack's second goal of the night, a rebound into an open net at 15:21 of the second made it 5-3.
Portland outshot Spokane 40-30 on the night, including 11-2 in the third period. But an empty-net goal for Anderson-Dolan clinched the win for the Chiefs with 2:05 left.
The Winterhawks are in Everett for a 4 p.m. Sunday game before the nine-day holiday break.